Women cannot inherit ancestral property if father died before 2005: SC

The Hindu Succession Act was amended in 2005 to give women rights to inherit property

New Delhi: In a major setback for many women across the country, the Supreme Court has said that women cannot inherit ancestral property if the father died before the 2005 amendment in the Hindu law that gives property rights to the daughter.

According to a report in Indian Express, the top court ruled that the father would have had to be alive on September 9, 2005 for the daughter to be able to claim her share in the family property along with her male siblings.

On September 9, 2005 the landmark amendment to The Hindu Succession Act of 1956, which originally denied women the right to inherit ancestral property ruled that a Hindu woman or a girl will have equal property rights along with her male relatives for any partition made in ancestral property.

“All that is required is that the daughter should be alive and her father should also be alive on the date of the amendment,” the court said.

The court ruled that women could not reopen cases of property division that took place before December 20, 2004, the date when the amendment was introduced, since the partition would have been in accordance with the laws prevalent at that time.

In the wake of rising cases where women are demanding their share in ancestral property, many High Courts had said that the amendment to the act was a social legislation aimed at removing gender disparity and thus should be applicable to all cases, but the Supreme Court overruled their observations.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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