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Can a Daughter Claim on Ancestral Property

Avik Chakravorty
Whether or not daughters can claim their share on the ancestral property according to the Hindu Succession Act 2005 has been discussed including the equal rights of coparceners.

Post amendment in 2005, daughters, regardless of whether unmarried or married, is regarded as a member of HUF belonging to her father and can be the designated ‘karta’ managing his HUF property.)

 

Up until the amendment of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, in 2005, sons and daughters did not have equal property rights. Although sons had absolute right over the property of their father's, only unmarried daughters were able to avail of this right. Once daughters get married, traditionally they are not a part of their father’s family anymore, rather they are a part of their husband’s household.


According to Hindu law, a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) is essentially a group of persons, all direct descendants of an ancestor in common. People of Hindu, Jain, Sikh or Buddhist faith can form a HUF.


Daughters' rights in the Hindu Succession Act, 2005

Previously, once daughters got married, she wasn’t a part of the HUF of her father. According to the vast majority of people, women were discriminated against and treated unfairly on the issue of property rights. However on September 9, 2005, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, governing how the HUF property ought to devolve amongst Hindus was amended.


Based on the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, both married and unmarried daughters, were regarded members of the HUF of their fathers’ and could even be designated as 'Karta' managing his HUF property. According to the amendment, daughters are granted equal rights, duties, liabilities, and disabilities that previously only sons had the right.  


Previously, based on the ruling, the amendment granted benefits to a daughter on condition that her father ought to expire after September 9, 2005, and the daughter can be a co-sharer only if both the father and the daughter were living on September 9, 2005.


Nonetheless, on February 2, 2018, the Supreme Court’s general ruling was that a daughter whether alive or dead on the amendment date will have the right to her share in her father’s property, and in the process, her children also would be able to claim the exact same right.


Equal right to be coparceners

A coparcenary is comprised of the oldest member and a family of three generations. Previously a coparcenary used to be comprised of a son, a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather in ascending order. These days, women too, are eligible to be labeled as a coparcener.


According to the coparcenary, the coparceners have acquired the birthright over the coparcenary property. The interest and share of the coparceners in the property fluctuate as members die and new members are born.


  • A coparcenary property can be both an ancestral and self-acquired property. Although in regards to ancestral property, all coparceners have an equal share in the coparcenary property. In regards to self-acquired property, on the other hand, managing the property would be according to a person’s own free will.


  • A coparcener can sell his or her share to a third party. Nonetheless, a sale of the type is conditional in the sense that the other members of the coparcenary have the Right of Pre-emption. The other members, nonetheless, reserve the “right of first refusal” in regards to the property, to prevent an outsider’s entry.


  • Only a coparcener, just not any member can file a lawsuit demanding that the coparcenary property be partitioned. Therefore, the daughter, being a coparcener, can demand that the property of her father be partitioned.



Click here to connect to Vidhikarya’s registered expert property lawyers for further legal advice in this regard.


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