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Title: Towards women’s equal right to property: recent judicial developments in India
Authors: Mishra, Archana
Jindal Global Law School
Keywords: Property Right, Indian women, Judicial Developments
Issue Date: 31-Dec-2016
Publisher: Thomson Reuter, Australia
Citation: Mishra, Archana. (2016). Towards women’s equal right to property: recent judicial developments in India. Property Law Review, Vol 5: 161-175
Abstract: This article investigates judicial developments in the Indian law of succession wherebylawshaverecentlybeeninterpretedbythecourtstograntmore property rights to Indian women. Tribal women who had been denied inheritance rights under their customary laws have been judicially granted rights in their favour. Also, the applicability of coparcenary claims by Hindu daughters, granted under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 (IND), has now been finally settled by the Supreme Court of India. Applying legal maxims for recognising the right of a Hindu widow to claim partition of her deceased husband’s share in coparcenary property, in the absence of a definite statutory right, is another judicial development; while the interpretation of Hanafi law to grant inheritance rights to a sister in the presence of daughters of the deceased shows a judicial approach of uplifting the position of women even under uncodified Muslim personal law. At the same time, however, restricting the right of a Hindu daughter to claim her coparcenary right only after a certain date, when no such limitation has been fixed for a male coparcener; and the courts’ affirmation of granting preferential rights to agnates over cognates under Hindu inheritance law, appear to promote gender inequality without any justification. More than a decade after the passing of the Constitution, the courts continue to adopt a cautious approach when considering the constitutional validity of personal laws.With the increase in social integration, economic independence and reform movements, there needs to be a further call for the improvement of the woman’s position in Indian society with respect to equal property rights.
ISSN: 1838-3858
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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