NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court in its observation stated that a daughter is also capable of inheriting the self-acquired property or share received in the partition of a coparcenary property of her Hindu father dying intestate(without a will).
As per reports, the property in question was the self-acquired property of one Marappa Gounder. The question raised by the appellant was whether late Gounder's sole surviving daughter Kupayee Ammal, could inherit the same by inheritance and the property shall not devolve by survivorship? The Court was considering the question of whether a sole daughter could inherit her father's separate property dying intestate (prior to the enactment of Hindu Succession Act, 1956).
To answer this issue, the Apex Court bench referred to customary Hindu Law and also judicial pronouncements, observed that the right of a widow or daughter to inherit the self-acquired property or share received in the partition of a coparcenary property of a Hindu male dying intestate is well recognized not only under the old customary Hindu Law but also under various judicial pronouncements.
What the Customary Laws Say:
"Right of a widow or daughter to inherit the self-acquired property or share received in the partition of a coparcenary property of a Hindu male dying intestate is well recognized not only under the old customary Hindu Law but also by various judicial pronouncements," the Supreme Court said. The Court referred to the Mitakshara law which also recognises inheritance by succession. Females are included as heirs to this kind of property by Mitakshara law. The Madras subschool also recognized the heritable capacity of females heirs including the son's daughter, daughter's daughter, and the sister, as heirs who are expressly named as heirs in Hindu Law of Inheritance (Amendment) Act, 1929. The 174th Law Commission in its report on 'Property Rights of Women' while proposing reforms under the Hindu Law has taken into consideration and recognized inheritance by succession but only to the property separately owned by an individual, male or female.
Therefore, the court observed it is clear that ancient text and even judicial pronouncements have recognized the rights of several female heirs, the wives, and the daughter's being the foremost of them. If a property of a male Hindu dying intestate is a self-acquired property or obtained in the partition of a co-parcenery or a family property, the same would devolve by inheritance and not by survivorship, and a daughter of such a male Hindu would be entitled to inherit such property in preference to other collaterals, the bench said while allowing the appeal. (Source Live Law)
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