Home Uncategorized Daughters Born Prior to Hindu Succession Act 2005 Amendment Will Have Equal Coparcenary Rights: Supreme Court

Daughters Born Prior to Hindu Succession Act 2005 Amendment Will Have Equal Coparcenary Rights: Supreme Court

by Preeti Dhoundiyal

The landmark ruling connotes that the daughter would have equal rights to the property even if the coparcener died before the 2005 amendment.

Background of the 2005 Amendment in Present Times

On 11 August, the Supreme Court held that even if they were not alive at the time of the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, daughters would have equal coparcenary rights in Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) properties. (Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma)

The Court in effect has concluded that in conferring rights on daughters who were alive at the time of the amendment and even if they were born prior, the 2005 amendment would have retrospective effect.

The verdict was passed in appeals by a Three-Judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah highlighting the issue of whether the amendment to the Act granting equal rights to daughters to inherit ancestral property would have retrospective effect.

Justice M R Shah
Justice M R Shah
Arun Mishra
Justice Arun Mishra
S Abdul Nazdeer
Justice S Abdul Nazdeer

“Daughters have to be given equal share of coparcenary rights in share of property like the son.”

Justice Mishra while recognizing the importance of conferring equal rights on daughters and sons, read out the operative part of the judgment

The Supreme Court had to view whether with the passing of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a daughter of a coparcener shall by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son or whether a daughter could be denied her share on the ground that she were born prior to the enactment of the Act and, therefore, cannot be treated as coparcener?

2005 Amendment in Daughter’s Case Challenging The Delhi HC’s Decision

In the batch of appeals the present case was a challenge to the decision of the Delhi High Court which marked the difference in opinion between benches of the Supreme Court.

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The Delhi High Court in the present case having regard to the fact that there are conflicting decisions of the Supreme Court in Prakash v. Phulavati, Danamma Suman Surpur v. Amar, and Mangammal v. TB Raju granted a certificate of fitness to appeal.

The Supreme Court in Prakash v. Phulavati had held that “the rights under the amendment are applicable to living daughters of living coparceners as on 9-9-2005 irrespective of when such daughters are born.” Basically, the living daughter of the coparcener would have no right to coparcenary property, if the coparcener (father) had passed away prior to September 9, 2005 (date on which the amendment came into effect).

The Supreme Court in Danamma v. Amar had held that the 2005 amendment confers upon the daughter the status of a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son. Thus, in the coparcener properties, it confers equal rights and liabilities to daughters and sons.

Justice AK Sikri heading a three-Judge Bench had expressed that the matter needed to be heard by a three-Judge Bench on November 2018.

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