Hindu law is derived from old scriptures and has developed over the years with judicial pronouncements. Some of the laws applicable to Hindu have been codified in 1956 with passing of legislations like Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act, 1956, Hindu Adoption an maintenance Act and Hindu Minority and Guardian ship Act. The most important amongst these legislation is Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which codified rules relating to succession and inheritance of property of an Individual as well as joint family property. This article deals with rights of a Hindu daughter in property.

Individual Property of a Hindu

A Hindu male and female have unrestricted right to bequeath their self-acquired property the way they wish through a Will. However, in case a Hindu person dies without leaving a Will in respect of all properties or some of the properties, he is said to have died intestate in respect of such properties and his assets pass on to his legal heir as per provisions of Hindu Succession Act, 1956. In case of death of her mother a daughter is entitled to a share equal to that of her brother. The mother will get the same share as that of her. In case any of her brother or sister have died before the death of the father, their children will get a share to which their deceased parent would have received had he/she been alive.  In case of death of her father a daughter is entitled to get a share equal to that of her brother but her mother and grandmother will also be entitled to get a share equal to that of a son/daughter. Children of a Predeceased son/daughter will be entitled the same way in the property of the father had their parent been alive.

Rights of a Hindu daughter in property

Rights of Hindu Daughter in the joint family property

The Hindu law recognises a peculiar concept called HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) which means family of persons who are lineally descended from a common male ancestor and are related with each other by birth or marriage. The people in a joint family are divided in two categories. The first category comprises of all coparceners and are those who have come in the family by birth or due to adoption. The Second category comprises of female members who come in the family by virtue of their marriage with a male member. All the coparcener are members but vice versa is not true. Prior to amendment of the law only male members were treated as coparceners but after the amendment of the law daughter are also treated as coparcener w.e.f 9-9-2005 and have the same rights as those of a son.

Prior to the amendment of the law, daughter was not entitled to any share in the joint family property. However, the daughter was entitled to get her share out of the shares of her father in the joint family on his death in the same way as if it was his individual property. In order to find out share of the father in the property a notional partition was presumed to have taken place immediately before his death. However, in case the male had no female heirs, his share in the joint family property would pass on to the remaining coparceners by survivorship.

Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which deals with coparcener’s  right in the joint HUF property was amended in 2005 w.e.f 9-09-2005. After this amendment the daughter became a coparcener on her birth and she gets all the rights attached with coparcenary including the right to ask for partition of the property as well as to become Karta of the HUF.

It is interesting to note that even after the amendment, it is only the daughter born in the family who gets the coparcenary rights and the not the other female members who come in the family by virtue of marriage and they are still treated as members only and are thus not entitled to ask for the partition.  Though after the marriage the daughter ceases to be a member of her parental HUF but she continues to be a coparcener.

After the death of a daughter, her share in the joint family property passes on to her legal heirs. The share which a daughter gets on partition is her individual property which she is entitled to dispose off the way she wants.

It may be noted that a daughter is not entitled to gift her share in the HUF property while she is alive but can bequeath her share in the HUF property  through a will. In case there is no will her share in the joint property will pass on to her legal heirs.

Balwant Jain is a tax and investment expert and can be reached on [email protected] and @jainbalwant his twitter handle.

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4 Comments

  1. KISHORE SABNANI says:

    SIR, CAN A MARRIED DAUGHTER CONTINUE THE HUF ON THE DEATH OF THE KARTA ?
    CAN A DAUGHTER BEQUEATH HER SHARE IN THE HUF WHEN FULL PARTITION OF THE HUF HAS NOT TAKEN PLACE ?

    1. Balwant Jain says:

      Yes. She can continue and even become Karta of the HUF if there is at least one more member of the HUF alive. Any coparcener can bequeath his/her share in the HUF property but can not gift while alive.

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