Every human being should be treated with some dignity and equality, but women are not even treated as human beings as they are considered as the weaker sex. They are suppressed of all their rights, restricted at their homes and as they are facing more problems in their day to day life. It is well known to everyone that India is a predominated patriarchal society where only men are given more rights as compared to women. One of the main problems faced by women are as they are denied from the right of property. But compared before women now are in a good position and treated equally as of men by developing various laws for the welfare of women.
The present paper deals with the right of property of a Hindu woman under:
- The Hindu women’s Right to Property Act 1937.
- The Hindu Succession Act 1956.
- The Amendment act 2005 of the Hindu Succession Act 1956.
The Hindu undivided family, as the name itself suggest, it is a joint Hindu family. It consists of common ancestor for the entire lineal descendent and also wife and daughter of the male descendent, as the members of the family are called as coparceners. As per Hindu joint family only the male member of the family can become the coparcener and the coparcenary consists of three generation of sons with a common elder ancestor. It is only the coparcener who is entitled for a share in the ancestor property.
The doctrine of survivorship is when a coparcener dies his share will be transferred to the surviving coparceners in the Hindu joint family. According to Section 3 of the Hindu women right to property act, 1937 when a Hindu male dies leaving his property, the widow that is the wife of the deceased will have a share in the property as same as his husband and also the widow of the predeceased son can also inherit as of her husband, when there is no surviving son of such predeceased son but the women were given only limited interest on that property. Therefore, this act does not deal with much aspects which is necessary for the empowerment of women’s property rights.
As for this concern the Hindu succession act, 1956 was passed which gave the women an absolute right over her property.
Before the enactment of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 The property of women was classified as two types:
- Women estate.
- Gifts received from the relatives
- Gifts and bequest received from strangers on her maidenhood
- Property got in lieu of maintenance
- Property acquired through own skill
- Property acquired through compromise
- Property purchased with above earnings of stridhan
As per prior Hindu law the devolution of stridhan is different under various schools. According to the vignaneswara, the women’s property goes to her daughter, if maiden the property goes to the uterine brother.
When a woman inherits property form a male or female that property is known as women estate. The widow inherits the property after the death of his husband as she is the owner of the property for the lifetime, but She has only limited interest in that property as she can use or enjoy the property but cannot dispose, mortage, lease, sale nor she could alienate the property with her own wish. And the devolution of the property will pass on to the last full owner(reversioner).
- For legal necessity.
- For the benefit of the estate.
- For religious or charitable purpose.
As this scenario has been changed after the enactment of the of Hindu Succession act, 1956. It abolished all the prior Hindu laws and brought a uniformity. According to the sec 14 of the Hindu succession act, 1956 there is no limited property,as the women can enjoy the absolute ownership on her property whether the property is acquired by gift or inheritance or partition and section 15 of the Hindu Succession act, 1956 prescribes the general rules of succession for a Hindu women.
- Firstly, upon the sons and daughter (including the son of predeceased son or daughter) and the husband.
- Secondly upon the heirs of the husband.
- Thirdly upon the father and mother.
- Fourthly upon the heirs of father.
- Lastly upon the heirs of mother.
This act brought wide improvement in property rights of women, despite there exists an inequality, as daughters were not entitled for the share in the property of the Hindu joint family. This act was amended in 2005 to remove gender inequality and give daughtersan equal right as sons in the property.
HINDU SUCCESSION AMENDMENT ACT 2015
As Indian Constitution guaranties right to equality under part III of the Constitution.As per Article 14 of the Constitution of India states, that every person should be treated equally without any discrimination, but daughters of the Hindu joint family are not entitled for a share in the property, as they are not given the right of coparcener. This leads to huge infraction of article 14 of the Constitution of India. This situation was changed and daughters were also given a share in the property after the amendment act of 2005
Section 4(2) of the act was omitted, this section states that, the act shall not override the provisions of any other act. It created an inequality against women by obstructing them to capacitate the agricultural land.
Section 6 of the actcreates an equal position for women by providing the right of coparcener in which a daughter of the Hindu joint family is considered as a coparcener and they are entitled for all the rights and liabilities as a son. Further, the daughter holds the position of coparcener after her marriage as because they are provided with the right of coparcener by virtue of their birth. As of now a woman has equal rights as men in the property of Hindu joint family.
Section 23 of the act was omitted as it divested the right of women to obtain partition of the dwelling house. The provision states that a female can dwell in the house only when she is unmarried, separated, or widowed which creates inequality. So, this section was omitted by the amendment act and gives women a right of the dwelling house.
Section 24 of the act states that the widow of the predeceased son, the widow of the predeceased son of the predeceased son and the widow of the brother are not entitled for the share in the husband property if she remarries. But she deserves a share in the husband property so the said section was rescinded by the amendment act 2005.
Finally,Section 30 of the act of the was substituted by certain words such as “disposed by him or her’’ instead of him which creates a right for women to dispose her property.
- Image Credits https://images.app.goo.gl/9KP877X1crNyBp857