Daughters Have Equal Property Rights, Confirms SC
According to the landmark ruling, the daughter will still have equal coparcenary rights to inherit her father's share in property even if the father has died before the 2005 Amendment. The 2005 amendments to the Hindu Succession Act apply retrospectively.
"Daughters have to be given equal share of coparcenary rights in share of property like the son."
-Justice Arun Mishra
The Supreme Court on Tuesday clarified in its landmark ruling that daughters will have equal coparcenary rights in Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) properties even if they were born before the 2005 Amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This is regardless of whether the coparcener father had died before the amendment.
The 2005 amendment would have retrospective effect. It would confer rights on daughters who were alive at the time of the amendment, even if they were born prior to it.
The verdict was given by the three-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah.
The Apex Court gave its ruling in reference to the question: ‘Does the applicability of right to coparcenary come into effect even before 2005 amendment when changes were not made to the law?’
The question arose out of the court's contradictory rulings of 2016 and 2018 with regards to the interpretation of Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act.
In its judgement the bench headed by Justice Arun Kumar Mishra said, "Once a daughter, always a daughter... a son is a son till he is married."
In the 121 page judgement, the Court stated that right to coparcenary is created at birth. It is not necessary for the father coparcener to have been alive at the time of the 2005 Amendment. The main highlights of the judgement are as under:
- The substituted Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 confers the status of coparcener on the daughter born before or after amendment in the same manner and with the same rights and liabilities as enjoyed by the son.
- The rights can be claimed by the daughter born earlier with effect from 9.9.2005.
- The right can be claimed by the daughter with savings as provided in Section 6(1) as to the disposition, partition or testamentary disposition which had taken place before the 20th day of December, 2004.
- Since the right in coparcenary is by birth, it is not necessary that the coparcener father should be living as on 9.9.2005.
The ruling is a crucial one because it clears up different interpretations of the law in cases that were pending so far. However, it is also likely to open floodgates to fresh litigation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
Around The World