Kevin Moses Paul
22 July 2021
As per your query, let me tell you that the rules of succession and inheritance in India are governed by the Hindu Succession Act (HSA). Enacted in 1956, the was ammended in year 2005 such that the daughters also gets equal shares in their parental property. The agenda was to provide daughters with equal rights that were earlier enjoyed by the son's only. The ammendment made to the act in year 2005, held that women (daughter's) hold a share in their ancestral property merely since birth, however, the distribution of the self-acquired property will be totally dependent upon the 'Will'.
Henceforth, it means that in case a father dies without preparing a Will, then the daughter would enjoy the same rights as the son irrespective if the property is Self-Acquired or Ancestral.
After the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005*, no court shall recognise any right to proceed against a son, grandson or great-grandson for the recovery of any debt due from his father, grandfather or great-grandfather solely on the ground of the pious obligation under the Hindu law, of such son, grandson or great-grandson to discharge any such debt: Provided that in the case of any debt contracted before the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005*, nothing contained in this sub-section shall affect—
(a) the right of any creditor to proceed against the son, grandson or great-grandson, as the case may be; or
(b) any alienation made in respect of or in satisfaction of, any such debt, and any such right or alienation shall be enforceable under the rule of pious obligation in the same manner and to the same extent as it would have been enforceable as if the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 had not been enacted.
Explanation. —For the purposes of clause (a), the expression “son”, “grandson” or “great-grandson” shall be deemed to refer to the son, grandson or great-grandson, as the case may be, who was born or adopted prior to the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005*.
Under Hindu law, a mother turns into the property owner regardless of whether she gets it through a will or by any other method. It becomes self-acquired property for her. In case the mother has inherited ancestral property from her father, i.e., even though the property is ancestral; it turns into the mother's self-acquired property. There are no criteria or qualifications in the Hindu Succession Act for married or unmarried daughters. In this way, whether the daughter is married or unmarried, she gets equivalent rights in the mother's self-acquired property alongside her sibling and husband of the deceased mother. In law, married daughters can uphold their right by filing a suit in the court for devolution of property as per the Hindu succession act.
Since, the establishment of the HSA i.e. the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a joint-hindu-family is governed by the Mitakshara law. Therefore, the daughter of a coparcener shall —
(i) by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son,
(ii) have the same rights in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been a son,
(iii) be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcenary property as that of a son,
And any reference to a Hindu Mitakshara coparcener shall and will be deemed to inculcate any reference to the daughter of a coparcener.
However, nothing contained in the act i.e. the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 shall affect or invalidate any alienation or disposition of property which took place before 20th of December, 2004.
Any property to which a female Hindu becomes entitled by virtue of sub-section (1) shall be held by her with the incidents of coparcenary ownership and shall be regarded, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law for the time being in force in, as property capable of being disposed of by her by testamentary disposition.
Hope It Helps
Kevin M. Paul