An unmarried Hindu woman is entitled to equal share in ancestral or coparcenery property along with other male members under the amended Hindu Succession Act, the Supreme Court has held. Coparcenary refers to equal inheritance which was restricted only to male members of the Hindu Undivided Family but after succesive amendements several states have chosen to extend the benefit to unmarried female members too.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan said even if a decree of partition has been passed, a female claimant can enforce her equal property right if she was unmarried at the time of the amendment brought in by the respective state legislatures.

The apex court said the purpose of extending equal property right to women was to end discrimination on the ground of sex as part of the Constitutional obligation and social legislation.

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