(The Hindu New Delhi, October 13, 2011)


Traditionally girls and women are not entitled to family property, especially non-movable property; it goes to their brothers. The recent judgment by Supreme Court rules against this; if implemented, as it should be, it will have profound impact  in the organization of agricultural land since girls move to their husband’s home after marriage.


A Hindu woman or girl will have equal property rights along with other male relatives for any partition made in intestate succession after September 2005, the Supreme Court has ruled.


A bench of justices R. M. Lodha and Jagdish Singh Khehar in a judgment said that under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the daughters are entitled to equal inheritance rights along with other male siblings, which was not available to them prior to the amendment.


The apex court said the female inheritors would not only have the succession rights but also the same liabilities fastened on the property along with the male members.


“The new Section 6 provides for parity of rights in the coparcenary property among male and female members of a joint Hindu family on and from September 9, 2005. The legislature has now conferred substantive right in favour of the daughters.


“According to the new Section 6, the daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener by birth in her own rights and liabilities in the same manner as the son. The declaration in Section 6 that the daughter of the coparcener shall have same rights and liabilities in the coparcenary property as she would have been a son is unambiguous and unequivocal, ”Justice Lodha, writing the judgment, said.


The term coparcener refers to the equal inheritance right of a person in a property.


The apex court passed the ruling while upholding the appeal filed by Ganduri Koteshwaramma, daughter of late Chakiri Venkata Swamy, challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s decision not to recognise equal property rights of women along with their male siblings.

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