“A daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life”, said Justice Mishra on delivering the verdict.
In a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court, daughters have equal claims to ancestral property under the Hindu Succession Act. This decision was the result of the conflicting interpretations of the amendment made in section 6 of the Act in 2005.
Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act states that in a joint family, the daughter would be a coparcener in equal manner as the son by birth, would have the same rights in the coparcenary property as the son, and would be subject to the same liabilities as a coparcener as the son.
The bench, consisting of Justice Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer, and MR Shah addressed a number of pleas questioning whether the amendment could be applied retrospectively, which stemmed from a Delhi High Court judgement that had highlighted two contradictory Supreme Court judgements. While one judgement said that daughters whose fathers have passed away before 2005 did not have rights to ancestral property as per the amendment, the other stated the opposite.
The bench stated that whether or not the father was alive, a woman had equal claim to ancestral property right from the inception of the law in 1956. Women born before September 2005 are also entitled to ancestral property by birth.
While reading out the order, Justice Mishra quoted an old Irish saying: “A son is a son till he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.” He also went on to say, “Daughters must be given equal rights as sons. A daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life.”
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