Now you have a Right on your Ancestral Property
“A son is a son until he gets a wife. A daughter is a daughter throughout her life”.
The ancient times did not recognize the idea of divorce as back then marriage was something sacred that continued even after the death of parties. With changing times, the idea of divorce got prominence and it is now a common practice to break matrimonial ties with your spouse. But what are the grounds on which one can seek a divorce? Legal Grounds For Divorce in India under Section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 lays down eight grounds on which either of the spouses may choose to end relations with each other.
The struggle for obtaining the right of property for women has always been a long drawn one. There have been continuous attempts in removing gender-discriminatory provisions regarding property rights for women. Out of all the attempts that had been taken to improve this condition of women, the most fruitful was the introduction of The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, which was an amendment to The Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
Section 6 of the erstwhile Act was amended which enabled the property law for daughters of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in the same manner as the son. A coparcener is the one who shares equally in the inheritance of undivided property. This entitles a daughter to have the right to the division of ancestral property, which was earlier only divided amongst the sons.
However this legislation felt that it needed amends, Previously the Supreme Court had stated that the amended Section of 2005 would be applicable to the daughter only if her father was alive on September 9, 2005, i.e. the day when the amendment had come into force.
This issue was resolved on August 11, 2020, when the Supreme Court in the case of Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma held that a daughter is a coparcener by birth irrespective of the fact that whether her father was dead or alive on the date of the amendment i.e. September 5, 2005. In addition to this, it was also established that since the rights to coparcenary are created at birth, it will be applicable to all daughters, even those born before 2005 thus further empowering the property law for daughters of a household.
AFTER EFFECTS OF THIS JUDGEMENT:
The release of this judgement opens up a pandora’s box to fresh litigation. The ruling said that one could not assume that a woman was given her share during the time of marriage and that she has no recourse to the coparcenary interest. This opens up the option for obtaining legal recourse to all those who want to claim that they had been wrongly excluded from the division of the ancestral property.
The Court while delivering the judgement made it crystal clear that the ruling would be applied retrospectively. This meant that fresh cases against those matters that have already been resolved by the court by the rules of the 2005 amendment would not be entertained again. However, litigation will be allowed in cases where property remains undivided. Pending cases of this matter will also proceed with the new rule of 2020 and must be resolved within six months.
A floodgate of fresh litigation would not be an uncommon phenomenon but it must be noted here that if there exists a clear will or a legal family arrangement which decrees that all ancestral property will pass on only to the males in the family, then no question or objection could be raised. Further, this provision will apply to married and unmarried women equally making the marital status immaterial in this regard.
This has given the daughters of the nation the ultimate opportunity to avail their rights and have access to their birthright with the assistance of well-equipped family lawyers who make it their duty to facilitate what you deserve.
We at RK Legal Advisors are well equipped with a competent team of lawyers to ensure that women get to enjoy the rights granted to them.