Author- Shikhar Srivastava


  • Introduction

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 (“Law”) was the first legislation to establish inheritance under Hindu law. He introduced Hindu laws on how male descendants should have access to direct inheritance in ordinary Hindu families. This law was based on the idea that a girl who one day gets married and becomes a member of another family is not legally considered a relationship. Although women had “full ownership” of their property, they could not claim the right to coexist in their inheritance. This made the law directly discriminatory against women on the basis of sex and violated the right to equality set out in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

In an effort to prevent discrimination against women by the Mitakshara Companion, the Indian legislature recognized the need for gender-neutral legislation. A law that does not oppress women and does not grant equal inheritance rights. Therefore, the 1956 Hindu Heritage Act was amended on September 9, 2005, and the Hindu Succession (Revised) Act (“Reform Act”) came into force in 2005. The amendment includes provisions that allow women to jointly acquire property equal to that of men and joint heirs. It ended with gender discrimination on this issue and protecting women’s fundamental equal rights from being violated.

The conflicting decisions of the Supreme Court in the Pulawati and Danamma cases have confused people. A dilemma arose over the extent to which a girl was entitled to family ownership of the property. This opened the way for appeals to higher courts. The Supreme Court ruled that Vinita Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma explains the situation and how the daughter of a Hindu family is also the legal heir and has the right to inherit common property.

  • Background and History

Revisions to the Hindu inheritance law in 1956 introduced the rule of inheritance, that is, property that is passed on to survivors only after the death of a common ancestor. The inheritance of inheritance was due to this rule. The right to joint ownership of such property includes only male heirs of only three heirs. They are known as direct descendants of their ancestors[1].

Section 6 (before amendment) of the Hindu Legacy Act 1956 reads: Interest in the title is inherited from the surviving members of the co-founders and is not subject to this Act.”

However, women were not considered legal heirs to patrimony in the same way as men. The reason for this ban was that he would get married and one day be part of another family. In the case of a relative wife, it was not a direct descendant. This discriminatory attitude towards gender and rejection of women’s fundamental rights called for a change in the Hindu heritage in 1956.

  • The evolution of the law over the years

The Hindu Inheritance (Amendment) Act was adopted in 2005 after 50 years of debate over whether women have the right to inherit common property. Adjacent property refers to the property a Hindu inherits from her father, father or grandfather. Coparcener is a term used to describe a person who is entitled to an inheritance after birth[2].

  • Revision of Hindu Heritage (Revised) Act in 2005 –
  1. She amended the clause depriving women of the right to inherit common property.
  2. When a Hindu dies, his estate passes to his daughter and son.
  3. It was established that the daughter of a relative, like a son, must be a tribe by birth.
  4. According to the Inheritance Act, inheritance was abolished and inheritance was passed through will and inheritance through inheritance.
  5. In an unseparated Hindu family, daughters have the same right to demand separation as sons.
  6. A woman of her free will can dispose of her share in the copper machine.
  7. If the separation took place immediately before the death of the co-priest, the children of the co-priest have the right to inherit the husband’s property.
  • Vinita Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma and Ors[3].

In this case, the Supreme Court of India overturned the 122-page ruling. The court has ruled that women are victims of historical injustice when co-founders and should be entitled to equal rights regardless of future or retrospective 2005 law.

Section 6(1)(a) of the Reform Act 2005 sets forth the heir’s right to heirs, that is, the “unlimited inheritance” of Mitakshara partners to inherit property. The court ruled that the father/father did not have to live at the time of the change as the heirs were entitled to the inheritance at birth. Because women’s intimate rights have to do with birth, not inheritance. Therefore, when the 2005 amendment law stipulated in the Pulavati case was implemented, the concept that a father (relative) and daughter should live was deleted.

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that Article 6 of the 2005 Reform Act is retroactive. Explaining the concept of retrospective application of the Reform Act of 2005, the court ruled that the law grants women the right to inheritance on the basis of birth.

In this case, it was decided that women had equal rights to common property on equal terms with their sons, despite the death of their father before the 2005 Hindu Heritage (Amendment) Act came into force.

Also, on September 9, 2005, the court ruled that surviving relatives of surviving relatives are also rights under the amendment, regardless of the woman’s date of birth.

  • Conclusion

The Hindu Inheritance Law was first codified in 1956 by the Hindu Inheritance Law. It concerns the transfer of the right to inheritance and Indian property acquired by the dying person by will. However, this law is discriminatory on the grounds that it infringes on gender inequality and the fundamental right to equality set out in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Colleagues of direct male descendants in the family and disadvantaged women provided such rights. The reason for this exclusion was that the woman would get married at some point and become part of her husband’s family. Shared ownership under Hindu law means property that one’s father, grandfather, or grandfather inherited from a Hindu. Discriminatory attitudes towards women’s gender and violation of fundamental rights demanded the revision of the Hindu Heritage Act in 1956. As a result, Section 6 of the Act was amended to become known as the Hindu Heritage (Amendment) Act of 2005. This fertilization allowed women to become relatives in the same way as men. The 2005 Reform Act created uncertainty about the application of its provisions. Two conflicting cases made it unclear how the law should be interpreted. The Pulavati case in 2015 and the Danamma case in 2018. The question was whether the 2005 amendment was applied retroactively or whether the father (co-chairman) and daughter had to be alive for the 2005 amendment to take effect. . He is Vinita Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma asked these two questions. India’s Supreme Court ruled that before the 2005 Hindu Reform Act came into force, women had equal rights to common property on equal terms with their sons, even if their father dies. The amendment will apply to surviving relatives of living women from September. September 9, 2005, regardless of the woman’s date of birth. Women have no access to modern rights and have suffered historical injustice due to ambiguous interpretations of these rights. Supreme Court of India Vinita Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma is a step towards equality and gender equality. However, it took a long time for evolution to occur with respect to the rights of women in custody under Hindu law.

  1. Supreme Court Clears The Air On Coparcenary Rights Of Daughters Under The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act,2005- 

  2. For Gender Equality in Ancestral Property, the Journey from 1956 Has Been a Long One- 

  3. Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma (2020) – SCC ONLINE SC 641

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