Women have been denied equal rights all over the world, since the beginning of the time. It is safe to say that the World, in general, is a patriarchal society, and India is no exception. But India differs in a fact that it is a paradoxical society. On one hand, we accord our country the status of a mother and worship female goddesses but on the other hand, deny the women of flesh and blood some very basic rights. Till a few years ago, right to property was one such right. But the society is changing. Although the change is slow but is highly welcomed.
Hindu Succession Act, 1956
Property related issues of Hindus are governed by the Hindu personal law. Hindu Succession Act, 1956 under the Indu personal law governs the succession norms in a Hindu Family. According to the section 2 of the Act, the law is applicable to people of Hindu Religion, including the followers of different sects and samajs. The same law extends to the Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains although they are not governed by the Hindu Law.
Right of women to ancestral property under Hindu Succession Act, 1956
- According to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 of the Hindu Personal Law, a daughter was not to be a coparcener in the ancestral property. She could inherit the property only when given as a gift or granted by the will. Only the male heirs of the family had the right to inherit the property.
- In case of death of a male Hindu who is survived by a wife, mother and daughters, then the property transfer will not take place according to the survivorship but through the intestate or testamentary succession.
- Female member had no right to demand the partition of the property. Although the right to a residence was granted to the daughters, if they are either unmarried or separated or a widow, I.e is dependent on her parents.
But this changed with the introduction of Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act, 2005. Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act, 2005
With the changing time and growing emphasis on Women Empowerment, India was in the dire need of change in the succession policies. Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act, 2005 is a landmark in the government’s effort in the field of women empowerment. It reiterated the fact that women are an equal member of the society and should be made to depend on others.
Right of women to ancestral property under Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act, 2005
- Hindu Succession(Amendment) Act, 2005 grants equal rights to the daughter in the ancestral property. They are entitled to equal coparcenary in the ancestral properties like the male members of the family.
- This right is available to a daughter irrespective of her marital status, i.e the daughter does not cease to be a coparcener in the ancestral property after her marriage.
- Only a coparcener can demand for the partition of the property. And since the daughter is also the coparcener in the ancestral property, she too can demand partition.
- The daughter has not just been granted the rights, but also the liabilities equivalent to that of the male members.