Hindu Daughters Will Inherit Father's Self-Acquired, Inherited Properties: SC

The top court further said that the inherited property of a female Hindu dying intestate will go back to the source.

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The Supreme Court on Thursday, 20 January, stated that the daughters of a male Hindu, dying intestate (without a will), would not only be entitled to inherit the self-acquired and other properties obtained in the partition by the father, but also get preference over other collateral members, such as sons/daughters of brothers, of the deceased father.

A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari was dealing with the legal issue concerning the right of the daughter to inherit the self-acquired property of her father, in the absence of any other legal heir, and with the question regarding the order of succession after the death of the daughter.

The judgment was given on an appeal against the Madras High Court verdict, dealing with the property rights of Hindu women and widows under the Hindu Succession Act.


According to PTI, the bench observed, "If a property of a male Hindu dying intestate 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."

Referring to the legal provision, the verdict said the legislative intent was to remedy the limitation of a Hindu woman who could not claim an absolute interest in the properties inherited by her, but only had a life interest in the inherited estate.

The verdict, according to PTI, stated, "Section 14 (I) converted all limited estates owned by women into absolute estates and the succession of these properties in the absence of a will or testament would take place in consonance with Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956."

'Inherited Property of a Female Hindu Will Go Back to Source'

The top court further observed that the inherited property of a female Hindu dying issueless and intestate would go 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 apex court said, according to LiveLaw.

The verdict further stated, "The basic aim of the legislature in enacting Section 15(2) (of the Hindu Succession Act) is to ensure that inherited property of a female Hindu dying issueless and intestate goes back to the source."

Further, as per PTI, the top court set aside the trial court and the high court's findings dismissing the partition suit of the daughters and said, "...since the property in question was admittedly the self-acquired property of a father despite the family being in a state of jointness upon his death intestate, his sole surviving daughter will inherit the same by inheritance and the property shall not devolve by survivorship."

(With inputs from PTI and LiveLaw.)

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