Property Rights of women in India

Property Rights of women in India

The “Property rights of women” after the judgment of the Supreme Court of India, in the case of Vineeta Sharma Vs Rakesh Sharma in 2020, this topic has become the important topic of the Hindu succession amendment act, 2005. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India gave gender equality to women after giving the judgment in this case.

Property rights of women

In this article on the property rights of women, we will know about the Hindu succession act, the latest amendment under the Hindu succession act and landmark cases under the Hindu succession act.

Hindu Succession Act 1956

Hindu Succession Act 1956 talks about the succession and inheritance of property. This act applies to Hindu, Buddhists, Jain, and Sikhs. The laws which describe how a property of Hindu Buddhist Jain or Sikh is distributed further are given under the Hindu succession act. 

Types of property

Hindu succession act talks about two types of property one is the ancestral property and the second is self-acquired property.

Ancestral property

Any undivided property that has been present through four generations (great grandfather>grandfather>father>you) continuously is known as ancestral property.

Self-acquired property

Any property which is purchased or acquired by a person by gift deed, sale deed, transfer deed or will of property, is known as self-acquired property. 

Rules of the succession of property

The Hindu Succession Act 1956 provides the rule of a succession of the property. 

Rule of survivorship

According to the doctrine of survivorship, the children in the family acquire the birthright of property right in property. For example, after the death of a person, his son, daughter, wife, grandson and granddaughter will get right in ancestral property.

Before 1956 

Before 1956, we didn’t have any codified law which deals with succession rules. For the succession, there were different customary rules for different religions. 

After 1956

In 1956, old customary rules collaborated and this Hindu succession Act was made. According to the Hindu succession act, the property of succession was done by using the doctrine of survivorship. In this act, the share in the property was increased or decreased with the death and birth of the family.

Before the amendment of 2005

Before the amendment of 2005, as per the doctrine of survivorship, only the males of the family were considered as coparceners in the property. The daughter didn’t have any right of coparcener in the property of her father. 

After the amendment of 2005

The Hindu succession amendment Act 2005 when is the previous doctrine of survivorship and add females as coparceners in the property. It means now both son and daughter have equal rights in the property acquired by their father. 

Succession of property

Testamentary succession

In testamentary succession, a person can make the will of property or transfer his self-acquired property to his son, daughter, wife or anybody. 

Intestate succession

This technique of succession is used when a person dies without making his will of property. The amendment Act introduced for classes of legal heirs in which if a person dies without making the will of property his property will be equally divided into class 1 heirs. 

The class 1 heir consists-

  • Window 
  • Son 
  • Daughter

Hindu succession amendment Act 2005 give some rules:

  • The daughter is coparceners in the property since birth as a son. 
  • Daughters will have equal liabilities for the property
  • The date of enforcement of this amendment Act was 9 September 2005.

Problems in amendment 2005

There was confusion related to this amendment. Is it important that the father should be alive till the enforcement date of the amendment act for the application of this rule? 

In simple words, the confusion is that the father has died before 2005 and the law has passed in 2005. Now the question was that can a daughter’s tale ask for her right in the property even if her father died before the amendment of this law?

To answer this question we will discuss the 3 judgments given by the Supreme Court of India in 2016.

Prakash Vs Phoolwati (2016)

This case was dealt with by two judges. In this case, the Supreme Court gave the decision that the father must be alive on the date of the enforcement of this law. Only the right of living coparcener will go to the living daughter.

Danamma vs Amar (2018)

In this case, two judges were dealing with this case. The judges gave their judgment in this case that although the father had died before the enforcement of the law, his daughter will get the right to the property. 

These two judgments were conflicting with each other. So finally this confusion was sold in the latest judgment in 2020.

Vineeta Sharma Vs Rakesh Sharma

There were three judges of the Supreme Court we are dealing with in this case in which they gave their judgment that the daughter gets right in the property from birth as a son. The father is dead or alive, it will not affect her right to the property.

Right of daughter in self-acquired property of the father

After the Amendment of the Hindu succession act in 2005, there are rumours that now the girls can also take rights in their father’s property which is ancestral or self-acquired. But in reality, the girl can only ask for her right in the ancestral property of her father. 

You must know about the fact that if a person has self-acquired property then he has the right to transfer or sell that property to any person whether he is his legal heir or not. 

  • Throughout his lifetime, the legal heirs cannot claim for the right in his self-acquired property. 
  • Neither his son nor his daughter can stop him from selling that property or transferring that property to any other person. 
  • Only after the death of the father, (died without making will or transfer of that property during his lifetime) his daughter and son can claim to take their shares in that property.
  • If the father has already made the will of that property or transferred his property to any other person, his legal heirs cannot challenge that will or transfer even after the death of their father. 
  • If the daughter has already made the deed of release and waived off her rights from the self-acquired property of her father, then after the death of her father, she cannot claim her right in that property. 

Let’s take an example in which a father who has self-acquired property made the will of that property in the name of his two sons and excluded his daughters from that property. Now after the death of the father, his daughter cannot challenge that will on the ground that she is the legal heir in that property. 

Daughter’s right on agricultural land

In some states of India, after the death of a father, his married daughters are not considered as the first-class legal heir in the agricultural land. It means after the death of the father his married daughter can claim their share in the other properties acquired by the father but she cannot claim a share in the agricultural property. 


Son and a daughter have equal rights in the property after the death of the father. Amendment in Hindu succession act increased the women empowerment in India and now every daughter has right in the ancestral property of her father. 

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