In a landmark judgment on Tuesday, Supreme Court ruled in the favour of daughters entitling them of equal property rights in Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property as that of a son.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also comprising of S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah settled the disputed question of law about the rights of daughters in the parental property under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
“Daughters’ rights are absolute after the amendment and that she would have the right of inheritance irrespective of whether the father was alive at the time of the amendment or not,” held the apex court.
The bench further stated, “This clarification is important since it sets aside a clutch of previous decisions by the top court that she would have the coparcenary right only if both the father and the daughter were alive as on September 9, 2005 when the amendment was notified.”
The apex court re-affirmed that a daughter of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son under Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
The court held that Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 entitling daughters’ rights in father’s property will have retrospective effect in case of daughters born prior to the law coming into force on September 9, 2005.
A Bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had ruled, “sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth and as such the amendment gives all Hindu women, irrespective of birth date, share in father’s property.”
There was a whole lot of confusion in the courts of various states as full Bench of the Bombay High Court had observed that the daughters born prior to the date when the law was amended will not have any part in their father’s property. While High Courts of Delhi, Orissa, and Karnataka held that daughter born prior to the amendment but who are alive on the date when the amendment came into force will be equally entitled as sons to the share in father’s property.