Property distribution for women in India: Hindu law! - healthforty
Law in a patriarchal society is gender based and property and inheritance laws for women in India are traditionally exploitative. It was after independence and even more so, things have started to improve in recent times. Since there is no Uniform Civil Code in India, property and inheritance claims depend on the faith of the claimants. However, inheritance laws for women, regardless of their religion, caste or community they belong to, view women slightly differently from men. Recent amendments to the Hindu Succession Act for Women have given daughters and wives some leeway. Islamic law for women, however, is different and stricter, and some limited changes have been made in recent times, though not with regard to inheritance or property rights. Christian law is more liberal.
But each faith has its own rules. There are the Hindu Succession Act 2005, the Hindu Succession Act 1956 and the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005. Then there are the Muslim Personal Right Petitions Act 1937 and the Indian Succession Act 1925. Here we are we will refer to them as Hindu, Muslim Law. Law and Christian Law. You can better understand inheritance laws for women and your rights to ancestral property at the end of the article.
How property law for women affects their lifestyle:
Consider the situation in which Anita marries and begins to live with her husband in her official quarters. Her in-laws live separately in the house they built a few years ago. After two years of marriage, Anita's husband died without leaving a will or acquiring property. Anita has to vacate the official quarters. She wants to live with her in-laws but they refuse to let her. She goes to her parents' house, but her brother refuses to let her stay with them. Since her father died intestate (without making a will), Anita's brother lives on his father's farm with his family. Where will Anita go now? Can she claim it as her own?
Property and inheritance law for women as per Hindu law:
Women's property laws have undergone many changes since ancient times. Even after independence and the promulgation of the Code, various amendments have equated the rights of women with the rights of men in the patriarchy. At present, the inheritance laws for Hindu women are outlined below.
Daughter's property rights:
A daughter inherits an equal share of the property of the parents (both the father and the mother) as her brothers. She is a sharer in the ancestral property as is her siblings and shares the same responsibility with respect to this property. A married daughter may seek support or shelter at her parent's residence if she is widowed, divorced, or desolate. Once she reaches adulthood, a daughter has full rights to any property or assets she has been gifted or bequeathed.
Wife's Property Rights:
According to Hindu inheritance law, a married woman has full rights to her personal property which she can sell/gift/dispose of as per her wish. She is entitled to housing, support and maintenance from her husband and her family in case of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family). As for the division of property between her husband and her children, she also receives an equal share as the others. And in the event of her husband's death, she is entitled to an equal share of her husband's wealth to be divided between her, her children, and her mother.
Mother's property right:
A mother is a first-class heiress, which means that she inherits an equal share of her deceased son's property from her as her wife and children. If the children divide the family property after the father's death, the mother is entitled to an equal share of the property as each of her children. She is entitled to housing and support for her eligible children. She has full rights to her assets and assets and can dispose of them however she wants. On her death, however, her property is inherited equally by all of her children.
Sister's property right:
A sister is a Class II heir and can claim her deceased brother's property only if she does not have a Class I mother, wife and children.
Daughter-in-law's property rights:
According to inheritance law for women in Hindu Succession Law, rights of daughter-in-law are very limited. The daughter-in-law has no right over the property owned by the parents - whether ancestral or self-acquired.
Property rights of divorced women:
A divorced woman can claim alimony and maintenance but cannot share in her ex-husband's property. If the property is registered in the husband's name, the law recognizes him as the owner. If the property is jointly owned, has to prove her contribution towards the purchase. Then as per property law for women she will be entitled to share in the said property only up to her contribution. In cases of separation without formal divorce, the wife and children are entitled to their inheritance in the man's property whether he remarries or not.
Property rights of remarried widows:
A widow gets an equal share of the husband's property with the other Class I heirs - her mother and her children. If the widow remarried, she was supposed to give up her claim on her ex-husband's property under the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act of 1856. But as per Section 24 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, if the widow is unmarried when the distribution of property is negotiated and marries much later,
Property rights of second wife:
The Hindu Marriage Act 1955 makes polygamy illegal and a man cannot have more than one legal wife at any one time. So, validity of second marriage is an important issue here. If the man remarries after the death of his wife or after a formal divorce, the second wife inherits the first class of his property. If not, the second wife is not entitled to the property of the deceased, although she will have children from this marriage.