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Women’s Right to Property Ownership

Women’s right to property ownership becomes right when it yields concrete results in women’s favour.

In acknowledging the right of Hindu daughters to their fathers’ properties, the Supreme Court in Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma (2020) has restored the original intent of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. The interpretation of this important social reform law was marred by conflicting and contradictory judgments by two-judge benches of the Supreme Court, and the three-judge bench in Vineeta Sharma case has cleared the confusion.

The 2005 amendment attempts to undo the discriminatory nature of the Hindu joint family towards the daughter in property matters—the culmination of a legal reform effort that dates back to B R Ambedkar’s initial draft of the Hindu Code Bill. Even as the Hindu code, in a diluted and piecemeal form, was passed between 1955 and 1956, state governments took the initiative to reform Hindu law to make it gender-just. Starting with Kerala, states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra passed their own amendments to Hindu law, ensuring equality to daughters in inheritance of property.

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Updated On : 3rd Sep, 2020


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