The constitution of India has given equal rights to everyone whether it’s a man or women. The right to equality is a long-accepted policy between male and female. At the early stages, the laws related to women’s right in the property were not very helpful. Various successful amendments to the law have changed the picture of this scenario now. The women’s right to property has been one of the major things of adjudication in the law courts. There are various factors as well which have a major impact on this i.e. the local laws, customs, traditions and conventions are posing an impact. There are various laws, rules and acts which have been enacted and amended with the passage of time but the rights of women in the property have been made more explicit and identifiable.
Clauses of the Rights
The rights of women in property is specified under the Hindu Succession Act 1956. In this act, under its Section 14 it is clearly mentioned that a woman has absolute rights in any property possessed by her. This act confirms more rights like the woman has the right to dispose off the property and the property can be of any kind, movable as well as immovable, both are accepted. The manner of acquiring the property can be inheritance, gift, partition, for maintenance, arrears of maintenance, demise, purchase, prescription etc. The Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act was enacted in 1937 and it deals with the rights of Hindu widows. Basically, when the husband of a woman dies and does not make any Will. In these kinds of cases the widow has the right to property of her husband as that of a son. In Karnataka, the Karnataka Hindu Law gives women the right to have limited rights to the property and this is further known as limited estate.
This limited estate rights limits the women to not get any rights to alienate the property by sale or will or gift etc. But, on the contrary the women had full rights to alienate the property by sale and will do it in case it is Stridhan Property which is the property acquired out of her savings,ornaments, apparel, gift received. There is another case where the property is undivided, it is known as co – parcener’s property. It is the case where the members of the Hindu undivided family own the property. In this case each member of the Hindu Undivided Family has the right by birth to have right in that property. Initially, the women were not given the tag of members in co-parceners property and even they did not have any right of succession to the property of their ancestors. Now over the period of time these rules have been amended and now there is right to women to have right in the co-parceners property. This was done on the basis of the fact that the women also become members of the coparcenary family by birth in same way as the male member of the family becomes the member by birth. If there’s partition done in the coparcenary property, then the woman has equal right to have her equal share in the property as that of a son. Further if the property so acquired in succession, then the woman is capable of disposing it off by her, through any Will or any other testamentary disposition.
When there is any case of ancestral house or property as a part of the coparcenary property, then the women cannot force a partition until and unless the other male members who have share in the house agree to opt for a partition. However, on the other hand if a woman is unmarried, a married woman who is separated from her husband or a widow woman has the right of residence there. In India, there are five such states, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who have passed legislations to remove the discriminative factors of the right by birth. This was taken as lead by the Kerala Legislature in the year 1976, when it was passed as the Kerala Joint Family System (Abolition) Act,1976.
The legislation was passed on the recommendations of the Hindu Law Committee – the Rau Committee. On the basis of which they abolished the right of birth under the Mitakshara as well as the Marumakattayan law. In Andhra Pradesh the daughters who were unmarried on the date of enactment of the Act have all the lights which should be conferred by birth. This was totally new approach by the states as instead of abolishing the right by birth act, they strengthen it up more and they proved that that there’s no space for gender discrimination inherent in the Mitakshara coparcenary.
This was about the Women’s Right in the property act, that how it was before and how it changed with the period of time and after various successful amendments. The amendments and commencement of women in the right to property act was totally just act and it proved that we are thinking above the genders and that we don’t discriminate anyone’s right.