Daughter entitled to equal property rights even if born before 2005 amendment to Hindu Succession Act: SC
The apex court ruled that daughters would have equal coparcenary rights in Hindu Undivided Family properties, irrespective of whether the father was alive or not at the time of the amendment.
The Supreme Court on August 11, 2020 ruled that daughters are entitled to equal property rights even if they were not born at the time of the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 or irrespective
The apex court ruled that daughters would have equal coparcenary rights in Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) properties. This would hold irrespective of whether the father was alive or not at the time of the amendment.
Supreme Court said that daughters will have the right over parental property even if the coparcener had died prior to the coming into force of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. https://t.co/KibABSasCp— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2020
The judgement was delivered by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah. They were hearing appeals that raised the issue of whether the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 granting equal rights to daughters to inherit ancestral property would have retrospective effect.
• The Supreme Court ruled that the 2005 amendment would have retrospective effect in conferring rights on daughters who were alive at the time of the amendment, even if they were born prior to it.
• The court also stated that daughters' right over the parental property will stand even if the father died prior to the coming into force of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
• The judgement was pronounced by Justice Arun Mishra, who while reading out the operative part of the judgment said that daughters have to be given an equal share of coparcenary rights in the share of property like the son.
• Justice Mishra stated that the daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life and they shall remain a coparcener throughout life irrespective of where the father is alive or not.
Who is a coparcener?
A coparcener is a person who acquires equal rights in the ancestral property by birth. Coparcenary means equal inheritance or joint-heirship or parental property, which was earlier restricted only to male members of the Hindu Undivided Family.
The Case- Background
An issue was raised before the Supreme Court asking whether a daughter of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son with the passing of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. This essentially meant that whether a daughter can be denied her share in the property on the ground that she was born prior to the enactment of the Act and, therefore, cannot be treated as a coparcener.
One of the cases arose out of a judgement delivered by the Delhi High Court, which observed conflict of opinion between two previous cases heard by the Supreme Court with regard to the interpretation of Section 6 of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
In one case- Prakash v. Phulavati, the Supreme Court had held that the rights under the amendment apply to living daughters of living coparceners as on September 9, 2005 irrespective of when they were born. This meant that if the father passed away before the set date then the living daughter will not have any right over the parental property.
In the other case, Danamma v. Amar, the Supreme Court had held that the 2005 amendment confers upon the daughter equal property rights in the same manner as the son. The Delhi High Court had however followed SC's judgement in the Prakash v. Phulavati case and held that the plaintiff will not have equal property rights, as her father passed away prior to the set date of September 9, 2005.
In November 2018, a three-Judge SC Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri noted that the matter needed to be heard by a three-Judge Bench.