In a historic verdict on Thursday, the highest court of India announced that the daughters of Hindu males, who will die intestate, will be eligible to inherit the self-acquired and all the other properties that were obtained in the partition by the father and get the priority for preference over other collateral members of the family.
The judgment came after an appeal was filed against the Madras High Court that dealt with the property rights of Hindu Women and widows under the Hindu Succession Act.
A bench that included Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Krishna Murari while giving out the judgment said that if a property that belongs to a Hindu dying intestate meaning without a will is a self-acquired property of it was obtained in the partition of a coparcenary or a family property, the property would be devolved by inheritance and not by the rule of survivorship. The daughter of such a Hindu male would be entitled to inherit such property to other collaterals including the sons or daughters of brothers of a deceased male.
The bench that gave the judgment dealt with the legal issue that was concerned with the rights of a daughter to inherit the self-acquired property of her father in case of the absence of a legal heir to the said property. Justice Murari who wrote a 51-page judgment for the bench of the Supreme Court also dealt with the question of whether any property as such would be devolved on to the daughter upon the death of the father who dies intestate, by inheritance or it would be devolved on to the father’s brother’s son by the rule of survivorship.
The verdict also mentioned that the right of the daughters or a widow to inherit the self-acquired property of their father or the share that was received in the partition of a coparcenary property of a Hindu male who died without a will is recognized under the Customary Hindu Law and various judicial pronouncement. The legal provision was provided with the intent that it would remedy the limitation put on a Hindu woman who was unable to claim an absolute interest in the self-acquired properties inherited by her from her father but only had a life interest in the estate/property so inherited.
The top court mentioned that the property in question was the self-acquired property of her father even though the family was in a state of jointness upon death without a will, his sole survivor daughter will be entitled to inherit the property by inheritance and the property will not be devolved by survivorship. The judgments passed by the Trial Court and the High Court are not liable to be sustained further and are set aside by the Supreme Court.