The court said, “If a property of a male Hindu dying intestate (without a will) is a self-acquired property or obtained in the partition of a coparcenary 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 (such as sons/daughters of brothers of deceased father).”
This verdict sheds light on the Hindu Succession Act (HSA) of 1956. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was amended in September 2005 following which women were considered as joint holders or coparceners of property.
As per reports, in this case Marappa Gounder, a Hindu male had self acquired property. He had a daughter Kupayee Ammal. After the death of Kupayee Ammal the property was acquired by five heirs of the younger brother of Marappa Gounder, Ramasamy Gounder. One of the five heirs, Thangammal had filed a suit for partition of the property.
The court said that as per the Hindu Succession Act 1956 Ramasamy Gounder’s daughter, being Class-I heirs of their father, shall also be the heirs and entitled to the share in the suit properties.
It also shed light on the provision of the act where the inherited property of a Hindu female dying intestate or without will goes back to the source.
“If a female Hindu dies intestate without leaving any issue, then the property inherited by her from her father or mother would go to the heirs of her father whereas the property inherited from her husband or father-in-law would go to the heirs of the husband,” the court said.
The SC bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari held that after the father’s death, the property would devolve by inheritance and not by survivorship.
“The main scheme of this Act is to establish complete equality between male and female with regard to property rights and the rights of the female were declared absolute, completely abolishing all notions of a limited estate. The Act brought about changes in the law of succession among Hindus and gave rights which were till then unknown in relation to women’s property,” the Court has said as per reports.