HC rules in favor of daughter’s entitlement to ancestral property

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On making a very important on women’s right over ancestral property, it was announced by the full bench of the Bombay High Court that the daughters alive on September 9, 2005, would be entitled to equal rights in ancestral property.

Earlier, because of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, daughters did not have equal rights over the ancestral property. While doing away with the inequality and the Section 6 of the Act in September 2005 has been amended. It has also been made clear that this entitlement has been amended for daughters born after September 9, 2005, by the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court. But later a single judge of the Bombay High Court while contesting the decision said that even those daughters who were born before September 2005 will have equal rights in ancestral property.

“Section 6 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 as amended by the Amendment Act of 2005 is retroactive (taking effect from a date in the past) in operation,” announced a full Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah, M.S. Sanklecha and M.S. Sonak.

Although the judges held a conflicting view and announced that, “The principle laid down by the Supreme Court in Sheeladevi’s case, therefore, does not militate against the view taken by us that the Amendment Act of 2005 applies to a daughter of coparcener, who (the daughter) is born before 9 September 2005 and alive on 9 September 2005, on which date the Amendment Act of 2005 came into force. Of course, there is no dispute about the entitlement of daughter born on or after 9th September 2005.”

 “Therefore, it is imperative that the daughter who seeks to exercise such a right must herself be alive at the time when the Amendment Act, 2005 was brought into force. It would not matter whether the daughter concerned is born before 1956 or after 1956. This is for the simple reason that the Hindu Succession Act 1956 when it came into force applied to all Hindus in the country irrespective of their date of birth. The date of birth was not a criterion for application of the Principal Act. The only requirement is that when the Act is being sought to be applied, the person concerned must be in existence/ living,” added the court in its order, as per The Hindu reports.