The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that a daughter is entitled to equal property rights under the amended Hindu Succession Act with retrospective effect. The verdict paves way women to claim equal share in family property as a daughter.
A three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S. Abdul Nazeer and M.R. Shah asserted that daughters will have the right over parental property irrespective of when she was born and if her father was alive or not at the time of the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, which gave women equal inheritance rights.
“Once a daughter, always a daughter...son is a son till he is married,” Justice Mishra said. “The daughter shall remain a coparcener [one who shares equally with others in inheritance of an undivided joint family property] throughout life, irrespective of whether her father is alive or not. Daughters must be given equal rights as sons, a daughter remains a loving daughter throughout the life.”
The judgement is crucial as it sets aside a number of previous decisions by the Supreme Court that said daughters can have coparcenary right only if both the father and the daughter were alive as on September 9, 2005, when the amendment was notified. The 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act did not provide its retrospective operation.
The question arose out of the top court's contradicting rulings in 2016 and 2018 with regards to interpretation of Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which was later amended in 2005.
In 2018, the court had reaffirmed that a daughter "by birth becomes a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son."