At the time of the enactment of the Hindu succession act, 1956, the legislators
did not actually feel any need for giving rights to daughters in the coparcenary
property of the father. It was believed at that time that after her marriage,
the daughter will be part of another family and should not have the right to
inherit the coparcenary property of her father's HUF. It is always said that
daughters are the heart of the family. Once a daughter always a daughter.
why not they should get equal rights as sons in the property of the father? On
9thof Sep 2005 the amendment in the Hindu Succession Act, 2005 which was
essentially meant for removing gender-discriminatory provisions regarding
property rights. It was a great initiative taken by the apex court.
amendment was made in sec 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 2005 that if the father
and the daughters are alive on the amended date then the daughters have Coparcenary right. But, this clutch of the previous Judgment of the apex court
has been set aside by a three-judge bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri. SC held
that daughters will have inheritance rights equal to those of sons from the
properties of the father, grandfather, and great grandfather right from the
codification of the law in 1956.
Who is Coparcener?
Coparcener is the one who has the legal right in the ancestral property since
birth. It means unity of title, possession, and interest. A coparcenary property
is one which is inherited by any Hindu from his father, grandfather, and great
grandfather. Before 2005, the coparcener includes only sons, grandsons, and
great-grandsons who were holders of joint family.
String of legislations
- Before the Hindu succession act, 1956, Hindus were governed by shastric
and customary laws which were varied from region to region. They followed
different schools such as mitakshara and Dayabhaga School, related to matters of
succession and inheritance.
- After that, the Hindu law of inheritance act, 1929 was passed that
includes the women into the matters related to inheritance and give right of
inheritance up to three female heirs, such as son's daughter, daughter's
daughter, and sister.
- The Hindu succession act, 1956, is an act of parliament of India which
was enacted to amend and codify the law on succession and inheritance with
an attempt to ensure equality inheritance and succession rights between sons
and daughters. This act is applied to all Hindus including Buddhists, Jains, and
Sikhs. This act stated two types of property- Ancestral and self-acquired
- Property right of a daughter before the 2005 amendment �Section 6 of the
act (before the 2005 amendment) �Devolution of interest in coparcenary property-
When a Hindu male dies after the commencement of this Act, having at the time of
his death an interest in a Mitakshara coparcenary property, his interest in the
property shall devolve by survivorship upon the surviving members of the
coparcenary and not in accordance with this Act.
According to this, only males were recognized as coparceners of the Hindu
undivided family. Females were not considered as lineal descendants of the
coparcener or from the same bloodline. All the coparceners were members, but not
vice-versa. Only males were the coparcener up to 3 generations. The ancestral
property was divided by survivorship rule only, and women were not recognized as
coparceners. Female members were not entitled to become a Karta of HUF and
manage their affairs.
Daughter's right to property after 2005After around 50 years, the center passed the amendment act of 2005 to address
the gender discrimination in coparcenary property. Earlier, women were not
considered as coparcener to inherit the ancestral property since birth like
sons. Section 6 of the act was amended which deals with coparcener's right in
Hindu undivided family property. the amendment act, 2005 canceled the
survivorship rule and introduced testamentary and intestate succession.
Daughter shall have the right to become a coparcener in the same manner as a son
and also entitled to demand a partition of HUF. she is also entitled to dispose
of her share in coparcenary property at her own will. Daughters were recognized
as coparceners since birth. Likewise, the son, the daughter will also have equal
liability. However, only the daughters who are born in HUF will get the
coparcenary right. Section 24 of the act was repealed because it denied rights
of a widow to inherit her husband's property upon her re-marriage.
- Married daughter's right to property under Hindu succession act
After marriage, the daughter will continue to be a coparcener but cease to be a
member of our parental Hindu undivided family. She is entitled to ask for
partition as well as he can become a Karta of HUF only in case she happens to be
the eldest coparcener of her father's HUF. After the death of the married
daughter, her child shall be entitled to get her share. Very importantly, the
daughter does not have a right to gift her share in the HUF property while she
is alive but by the way of a will, she is capable of giving away her share.
After the death of the married daughter, Har share will automatically pass over
to her legal heirs.
Confusion over the applicability of Section 6
- In the case of Prakash and others v. Phulavati (2016), a two-judge
bench held that the rights of coparceners are applicable to the living daughter
of a living coparcener. If the father died prior to date .09.09. 2005, the
daughter would have no right in coparcenary property in that case. father had to
be alive on the date of enforcement of the 2005 amendment. Subsequently, the
daughter can claim benefits under the 2005 act. The father and daughter both
must be living on the date of the amended law. But, if the father was not alive
on or before the amended date of law then the daughter cannot claim for right in
- On the other hand, in the case of Danamma v. Amar (2018), another
two-judge bench had held that the father may have died before 2005, yet the
daughter will get the equal share and daughters are entitled to this coparcenary
These two cases created confusion on the interpretation of section 6 of the
Hindu succession amendment act, 2005 because there was a conflict of belief
regarding the Coparcenary rights of daughters in father's property
- In the recent case of Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma (2020) A
three-judge bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri held that the daughters are
entitled to equal property rights even if they were not born at the time of 2005
amendment to the Hindu succession act, 1956, and even if the father died prior
to the coming into force of the amendment act, 2005.
Justice Mishra stated:
Daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life and
they shall remain a coparcener throughout life, irrespective of whether her
father is alive or not.
The SC ruled that the 2005 amendment would have retrospective effect in
conferring rights on daughters, who were alive at the amendment, even if they
were born prior to it.
It is concluded that the apex court is regarding the contradiction of
coparcenary rights of the daughters that If their father was alive or not on or
before the amended date of law which was in regard to the interpretation of sec
6 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956 as amended by Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act,
2005. But, all the contradictory judgments are now set aside by the three bench
judgment of the apex court. Now, the daughters have coparcenary rights in the
Whether he was alive or not on the amended date of the law.
Henceforth, according to the recent judgment passed, the amendment act, 2005 has
been declared retrospective and daughters are given equal rights over ancestral
property even if the father died prior to Sept 9th, 2005. A woman will have an
equal share in the undivided family property regardless of whether her father
was alive when the law was amended in 2005 or not, stressing that the law has a
- Sandeep Rana-B.A.L.L.B. (Hons.), at Chandigarh
University, Gharuan and
- Deepak Garg-B.A.L.L.B. (Hons.), at Chandigarh