Property Rights of Women - Proposed Reforms under the Hindu Law

Submitted by admin on May 27, 2024

Social justice demands that a woman should be treated equally both in the economic and the social sphere. The exclusion of daughters from participating in coparcener property ownership merely by reason of their sex is unjust.

The Commission has also taken into consideration the changes carried out by way of State enactments in the concept of Mitakshara coparcenery property in the five States in India, namely, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The Commission feels that further reform of the Mitakshara Law of Coparcenery is needed to provide equal distribution of property both to men and women.

The recommendations contained in the Report are aimed at suggesting changes in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 so that women get an equal share in the ancestral property. The daughters now can approach for seeking a partition from their family/brothers/fathers. They have equal rights to get their share in the family property. Once acquired, a lady is free to deal with the property the way she likes and it becomes her absolute property and her children have no right during her lifetime.

A Daughter can file a suit for partition, on which a certain amount of court fees is payable. This court fee depends on the value of her share in the property and has to be calculated as per court fee chart.

In a Joint Hindu family the daughter of a coparcener shall-

  • by birth becomes a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son;
  • have the same rights in the coparcener property as she would have had if she had been a son;
  • be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcener property as that of a son, and any reference to a Hindu coparcener shall be deemed to include a reference to a daughter of a coparcener:

In pursuance of its terms of reference, which empowers the Commission to make recommendations for the removal of anomalies, ambiguities and inequalities in the law, the Commission undertook a study of certain provisions regarding the property rights of Hindu women under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. The Commission had taken up the aforesaid subject in view of the pervasive discrimination prevalent against women in relation to laws governing the inheritance/succession of property amongst the members of a joint Hindu family.

With a view to giving effect to the recommendations, a Bill entitled “Hindu Succession (Amendment) Bill, 2000” is annexed with the Report as Appendix ‘A’.