Supreme Court gave one of the landmark verdict pertaining to a women’s right to be a joint legal heir and inherit ancestral property on terms equal to male heirs. As per the 2005 Hindu law codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 governed succession and inheritance of property but only recognized males as legal heirs. The law applied to everyone who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jew by religion. Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, and followers of Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj are also considered Hindus for the purposes of this law.
The ruling said, “Since the coparcenary is by birth, the father coparcener doesn’t need to be living as on 9.9.2005.” A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra ruled that a Hindu woman’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth and does not depend on whether her father was alive or not when the law was enacted in 2005. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 gave Hindu women the right to be coparceners or joint legal heirs in the same way a male heir does.
This is a very welcoming judgment and one more step towards gender equality. The Supreme Court with its decision has proved that with the changing of time rules and norms has also to be changed. Supreme court has once again proved that the Indian judiciary is independent and not biased and all are equal before the law.
Earlier apex court has given several judgments related to women that changed the course. It has come up with Vishakha Guidelines which gave the definition of sexual harassment and guidelines to deal with it. After the Nirbhaya case Judiciary spurred into action and laws were strengthened for sex offenders. The supreme court passed a landmark judgment on the practice of talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq, calling it “manifestly arbitrary” and against the basic tenets of Islam, it termed the practice illegal and unconstitutional.
This proves that the apex court does not work on religion, gender, caste, race all are equal before the law. Thus this verdict too has become the landmark as it is one more step towards changing time and equality.