Daughters cannot inherit ancestral property if father died before 2005: SC

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Who: Daughters cannot inherit ancestral property if father died before 2005
What: Ruling held by SC
When: First week of November 2015

The Supreme Court (SC) in the first week of November 2015 ruled that as per the provisions of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a daughter’s right to ancestral property does not arise if the father died before September 2005, when the amendment came into force.

The ruling was made by a SC bench comprising of Justices Anil R Dave and Adarsh K Goel. The court held that the father would have had to be alive on 9 September 2005, if the daughter were to become a co-sharer with her male siblings.

All that is required is that the daughter should be alive and her father should also be alive on the date of the amendment.
The court also held that alienation of ancestral property, including its partition, which may have taken place before 20 December 2004 would remain unaffected by the 2005 amendment, and those partitions can no longer be reopened by daughters.

Background

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, originally did not give daughters inheritance rights in ancestral property. They could only ask for a right to sustenance from a joint Hindu family and could not ask for a share in the property.

In 2005, the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 was passed to amend the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in order to give daughters equal inheritance rights in ancestral property along with her male siblings.