Now daughters are equal coparceners declared Supreme Court under amended Hindu Succession Act

According to the Hindu Succession Act daughters will have equal rights even if the father died prior to 2005 amendments. The order was passed by the panel of three judges Justices Arun Mishra, S Abdul Nazeer and MR Shah as there were appeals made highlighting the issue of retrospective effect of the amendment of giving equal right to the daughters in Hindu Undivided Family Properties. 

Justice Mishra, while stating the verdict, recognised that daughters should have conferring rights and declared, “Daughters have to be given an equal share of coparcenary rights in the share of property like the son." The verdict means that as a son even daughters will acquire equal rights on the ancestral property of the Hindi Undivided Family even if the daughter was born prior to 2005 amendment or father died before the amendment. 

The court held: 

The provisions contained in substituted Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 confer the status of coparcener on the daughter born before or after amendment in the same manner as a son with the same rights and liabilities.

The rights can be claimed by the daughter born earlier with effect from 9.9.2005 with savings as provided in Section 6(1) as to the disposition or alienation, partition or testamentary disposition which had taken place before the 20th day of December 2004.

• Since the right in coparcenary is by birth, it is not necessary that father coparcener should be living as on 9.9.2005.

The court further added that the plea for oral partition will not be accepted, however, there is an exception, "...in exceptional cases where the plea of oral partition is supported by public documents and partition is finally evinced in the same manner as if it had been affected by a decree of a court, it may be accepted. A plea of partition based on oral evidence alone cannot be accepted and to be rejected outrightly."

There were several issues raised regarding the equal rights given to the daughter and whether they could be declined share in the property if they were born prior to amendment 2005. In the judgement, the Supreme Court has clearly stated, “The goal of gender justice as constitutionally envisaged is achieved though belatedly, and the discrimination made is taken care of by substituting the provisions of section 6 by Amendment Act, 2005.”

The ruling of the Supreme Court defines the section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act and orders to clear the pending cases according to the new orders.

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