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Amit (Software Engg.)     05 July 2009

What is Stridhan?


I want to know the details of " What is Stridhan?" in Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Can i get the detailed explanation of the same (or) Where can i get the act/law of the same.?

Please help me at the earliest.





 8 Replies

Shree. ( Advocate.)     05 July 2009

The word ''Stridhan ' is, derived from the words "stri " meaning woman and "dhana "meaning property. Essentially a word and concept, which comes down centuries from the Hindu smritis but has today, permeated all forms of marriages in all castes and religions.
The existence of Stridhan is an ingrained part of Indian culture from times of yore. As male dominated as the society may be, the existence of the custom of 'bride price' indicates that women understood the importance of financial independence and safeguarding their interests long before the feminist movement made it popular to do so.

Mitakshara II ix, 2 defines that stridhan means woman’s property. In the entire history of Hindu Law, woman’s rights to hold and dispose of property has been recognized.

The Dayabhaga School doesn’t recognize gifts of immovable property by husband as stridhan (Banerjee, Hindu Law of Marrriage and Stridhan, Pg 321).

Under all the schools of Hindu Law payments made to a Hindu female in lump sum or periodically for her maintenance and all the arrears of such maintenance constitute stridhan. Similarly, all movable or immovable properties transferred to her by way of an absolute gift in lieu of maintenance constitute her stridhan.

A full bench in Vinod Kumar Sethi v. State of Punjab AIR 1982 P& H 372 held that dowry and traditional presents made to a wife at the time of the marriage constitute her stridhan.
Under Hindu sucession Act, there is no distinction between the gifts received by her from relatives or strangers and at any stage of her life, and all gifts that she receives will be her absolute property. Ornaments received by her at the time of her marriage are ordinarily her stridhan property.

Section 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 says that in any proceeding under this Act, the Court may make such provisions in the decree as it thinks just and proper with respect to any property presented, at or about the time of marriage, which may belong jointly to both the husband and the wife. Refusal by husband to return the gift items given to wife at the time of marriage makes the husband liable for prosecution. The section does not bar the right of the aggrieved person to file criminal complaint under Section 406 I.P.C., if property belonging to the complainant is criminally misappropriated by the accused. The section empowers a Court while deciding a matrimonial dispute to also pass a decree in respect of property, which may jointly belong to both the husband and wife. This section at best provides a civil remedy to an aggrieved wife and does not in any way take away her right to file a criminal complaint if the property belonging to her is criminally misappropriated by her husband.

The gifts made to the girl before, during and after the marriage by the father, mother and brother present-in-law of the girl are the part of the Stridhan. Section 27 and Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act do not abolish the concept of Stridhan. She is the absolute owner of such properties and can deal with it in any manner she likes. The husband has no right or interest in it, except that in the lines of extreme distress as in illness etc. Though the husband can utilize it but he is bound to restore it when he is able to do so. When husband refuses to return Stridhan property of wife, she can take recourse to above provisions to recover the same. These provisions provide alternate remedy to the wife apart from criminal proceedings under Section 406 of the indian penal code.

 Hope you understand now clearly.



1 Like

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     05 July 2009

Shree has explained in details, but let me also add that "Stridhan is sometimes spoken of and defined as property of a woman over which she possesses the unfittered power of disposal. But all property over which she possesses such power is not necessarily her Stridhan.

J.P. Sharma (Government Service)     05 July 2009

I fully agree with Shree and he has given all details in respect of "Stridhan".

MVenuSwara (Others)     06 July 2009

Thanx; it is knowledgeable; But is it not there any law that that list of items should also be prepapred and signed to show that the things were actually there and whom those were handed over; now a days people are making fun of law and abusing the law by every means to harass the opposite party on this score ?  Please explain this also this would definitely  help the innnocent people entangled by the schrewd people!

Usha Gupta (help for property)     05 September 2011

hello sir,

i was married in the year 1979, and my parents gave me lots of jewelly, and utensils etc. But my in-laws didnt let me see anything after my marriage and kept it in their custody. At that time there was no video photo graphy so i don't have any proof of that.

After my marriage my husband started his bussiness with his second number brother and brought three plots on the name of his parents. we have two ancestral property which my second brother-in-law inlegally transferred on his name. we are just using only one room in that property.e

My mother in law is running a school and only half of the plot is registered and the other half she is using illegally unregistered. now she says that she have purchased everything by her own earnings. how can some one buy valuable plots when she is goverment primary teacher and no other earnings for her family. she is getting pension also. Is there way that she can prove from where she have arranged the money for.

When it was time for my daughter to start her higher studies they refused to pay anything and removed us from the family. They didnt gave us any share, jewelly or any of my stridhan of the time of my marriage.  Any how we worked hard and my daughter and son succeeded in their studies.

last year when we come to know about after my brother in law capturing all the property in his name. we suited a case but since one year have passed we are not getting any relief and they are becomming rude day by day.

sir kindly please help me how we can come out of this and get our share and stridhan from them.

pl. guide what can i do in this stage???????

Saurabh..V (Law Consultant)     05 September 2011



Bow-down and applaud for your crystal clear well derived and infered meaning of stridhan ...




Saurabh..V (Law Consultant)     05 September 2011



I would suggest you start a new thread and post your query in relevant forum under correct sub-topic... Here you might loose potential members attention..




T.N.Pawaar (Proprietor)     20 May 2013

Thanks for the valuable information Mr. Shree.  I was in need of such jist.

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