- Woman can claim equal share in family property as a daughter: Top court
- Hindu Succession Act can have a retrospective effect, court said
- The court was hearing a batch of appeals that raised the issue
A woman can claim equal share in family property as a daughter, the Supreme Court reiterated today as it stressed that the Hindu Succession Act - that was amended in 2005 to give women equal inheritance rights - can have a retrospective effect.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Kumar Mishra, today said, "Once a daughter, always a daughter... a son is a son till he is married. 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."
The question that urged the top court to make the remarks today was: "Does the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, which gave equal right to daughters in ancestral property, have a retrospective effect ?"
The top court was hearing a batch of appeals that raised the issue.
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 re-affirmed that a daughter "by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son."
The court today said a woman will have an equal share in undivided family property regardless of whether her father was alive when the law was amended in 2005 or not, stressing that the law has a retrospective effect.
In 2005, the amendment did not provide a retrospective operation. "Sons and daughters of a coparcener become coparceners by virtue of birth," according to the amendment.