Questions Legal

What is married daughter's right in father's self-earned property?


Kishore Sagar

You always have a choice

This is a generally scrutinized question in India. This is because as per The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 made by the Indian government to govern the property succession and division after parent’s death, clearly indicated that only male heirs of the family could become coparceners and had the right to claim the share from property owned by or passed from progenitors. The female was only struck as a member of the Hindu Undivided Family(UHF), i.e., daughters can only ask for maintenance allowance from the coparceners.

But eventually, the Indian government later amended the law in 2005 as The Hindu Succession Law 2005. This law evicts all inequality between male and female heirs of the family granting daughters the same share in the property as that of male coparceners. The birth date of the daughter is not a botheration for having the right to property. Even if the daughter was born before 2005, her share of the property is not harmed. But the father must be alive on 9th September 2005 for the coparceners to procure their property share.

The successive properties are of two types. They are

  1. Ancestral property - Property which is inherited to the for four male lineage

  2. Self-acquired property - Properties owned or brought by father during his life

The Hindu Succession Amendment Act says,

Devolution of interest in coparcenary property.-(1) On and from the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, in a Joint Hindu family governed by the Mitakshara law, the daughter of a coparcener shall,-

(a) by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son;

(b) have the same rights in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been a son;

(c) be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcenary property as that of a son, and any reference to a Hindu Mitakshara coparcener shall be deemed to include a reference to a daughter of a coparcener:

Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall affect or invalidate any disposition or alienation including any partition or testamentary disposition of property which had taken place before the 20th day of December 2004.

Is the marriage of daughter a criterion to claim property share?

The answer is no. As per The Hindu Succession Act 1956, even the HUF membership gets terminated once she is married. But as per new succession law, daughter has the same claim over properties even she is married. The government intends to cauterize all the discrimination made over gender in property rights.

What if in the case of ancestral property?

In the ancestral property, the daughter has the corresponding share right as that of male heirs. This asserts over the property amasses to her by birth. No person or no case can constrain her property rights in this case. Even if the father’s will is to give the property to his male heirs or anyone else, it can’t pass because she is reckoned to have that right no matter what.

What if in the case of self-acquired property?

Case with self-acquired property is distinctive that of ancestral property. Under the succession law, a person can pass his property to anyone he wills. Even though there are rightful heirs to the property, they are not considered by law over the will of the father. So daughters don’t have any right over the self-acquired property if father wills to give it to someone else.

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