Rights of Daughter on the property of the Father

Rights of Daughter on the property of the Father

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Rights of Daughter on the property of the Father
Rights of Daughter on the property of the Father

Introduction

Women across the globe have struggled for ages to have rights over family properties. In various societies, the philosophy behind frowning upon the thought of giving property rights to women was that they do not permanently stay in their birth family. After getting married they become a part of another family. Thus, just the male individuals had privileges over their family properties. Be that as it may, women have significantly evolved in the past couple of decades. Let’s try to understand women’s property laws and their rights in India over the property of the father. In India, the issue of succession equality and rights for women has been of paramount importance and perhaps even controversial in recent times. However, it is good to see that the courts have recognized this concern and are adopting approaches to solve the problems of gender inequality, especially in relation to ancestral properties.

The first step towards gender equality was made in 1956 through the Hindu Succession Act. Later, on September 9, 2005, this Act was amended to reduce the issue of gender disparity that was prevailing in the principal Act. This amendment was lauded as a revolutionary step toward the elevation of women’s social and economic position in a Hindu Undivided Family. In this blog, we have mentioned two important judgments in context to the right of the daughter on the father’s property.

Types of property in India

There are two types of property that a person can acquire in India:

  • Self-acquired Property

Self-acquired property is the type of property that a person earns in his lifetime like purchased property from his own money, a property received through a gift deed, will, or transfer deed. The ancestral property, after being divided, will also be self-acquired.

  • Ancestral Property

Ancestral property is an undivided property in which four or more generations of a single family have their share. The property is inherited by a Hindu from his or her father, father’s father, or father’s father’s father by birth.

Section 6 of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005

A significant change that became a milestone in the history of women’s rights in property was the amendment of the old provision under Section 6 of the act and the insertion of a new provision. With the new provision, the daughter becomes coparceners in the property of the Joint Hindu Family by birth, acquiring similar rights and liabilities to that of a son. As women’s right in property i.e. undivided property was quite alienated and highly fragmented in Hindu law.

Earlier women were not allowed to inherit any property either from their husband or father, and would possibly possess the stridhan. To overcome the abnormalities created by the abovementioned act. The legislature finally introduced an act named The Hindu Succession Act, 1956. But still, the act was not adequate to recognize the coparcenary of daughters in the Joint Hindu Family. So this created a disadvantage for the daughter as they don’t have a right to seek partition. But with the changes brought in by the amendment of 2005, the daughter became a coparcener, getting all rights of the coparcener including the right to seek partition for her share in the Joint Hindu Property. 

And by this new provision, all the alienation or partition or testamentary partition affected before the 20th December 2004 will not be affected. 

Landmark Judgements on Rights of Daughter on the property of the Father

In the case of Prakash & Ors. Vs. Phulavati & Ors. 16th October 2015, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India stated that the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 will not have retrospective effect i.e. if the father has died before the amendment came into force or the daughter is born before the amendment of 2005, the right in father’s property will not arise. But, this judgement was overruled on August 11, 2020, by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of Vineeta Sharma vs Rakesh Sharma and Ors., affirming the equal rights of daughters to coparcenary property. Most importantly, the Apex Court has clarified that irrespective of a coparcener father being alive or not before the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a daughter would be entitled to a share in the coparcenary property in the same manner as a son by: 

  1. Her birth and;
  2. Her being alive as of the date of coming into force of the 2005 Amendment.

How can a daughter claim her right to her father’s property?

Although several judgments are passed in favour of the daughters claiming their property right but still some women are deprived of their share by sheer dominance by male members of the family. So, to claim her share of the property there are two ways:

  • A woman can send a legal notice to the other members of the family i.e. her mother or brothers claiming her share of her father’s property, in alternate
  • A civil suit in the Civil Court of concerned jurisdiction can be filed for claiming her share.

Conclusion

The status of Hindu women was constantly subjected to male individuals from the family even in Dharmashastras. This was reflected in the Hindu Succession Act 1956 wherein no share was reserved for a woman in the father’s property and the whole property was entrusted to male members.

The amendment of 2005 has proved to be a historical event in the history of India. Though some questions are still unanswered in regards to adopted daughters, as this term is nowhere mentioned in the amended Act and her rights in regards to inheritance of her father’s property. Also, the children of the daughter will be treated as coparceners in the same sense as that of the son’s children, as the status of the son or daughter has been equally under section 6 of the Act. Awareness is much needed at this point as the disputes related to the property are escalating day by day.

If still doubts persist, consult legal experts at

https://www.aapkaconsultant.com/legal-opinion-legal-shots

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