The property laws for daughters and sons were different until the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, but were amended in 2005. Earlier, the sons had complete power over the father’s property. Daughters enjoyed the property right only till they got married. After marriage, a daughter was considered a part of her husband’s family.
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Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
Under the Hindu law, a HUF is a group including more than one person, all lineal descendants of a common predecessor/ancestor. The term HUF is supposed to apply to by people of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, or Sikh faith. Currently, the laws keep the daughters in consideration and take care of their interests too.
Laws favouring daughters in their fathers’ properties:
Daughters’ rights in Hindu Succession Act, 2005
- Earlier when a daughter got married, she discontinued being part of her father’s HUF which was seen by many as curtailing women’s property rights.
- On 9/9/2005, the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which governs the transference of property among Hindus, was altered.
- According to the above Act, every daughter, whether married or unmarried, is now considered a member of her father’s HUF. She can even be appointed as ‘karta’/manager of father’s HUF property.
- The amendment now provides for such laws that give daughters the same rights, duties, disabilities and liabilities that were earlier limited to sons.
- However, a daughter can avail the benefits granted by the amendment only if her father passed away after 9/9 2005.
- Moreover, the daughter is eligible to be a co-sharer mainly if the father and the daughter were alive on 9/9/ 2005.
- Equal right to be coparceners
- A coparcenary includes the eldest member of a family and three generations.
- Earlier, it was said to include a son, father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather.
- Now women of the family can be a coparcener as well.
- The coparceners obtain a right by birth over the coparcenary property.
- A member of the coparcenary can further sell his /her share in the coparcenary to a third party.
- A coparcener can file a suit asking partition of the coparcenary property but not a member.
- Thus, a daughter, as a coparcener, can now demand the partition of her father’s property/business/house.
Quranic laws of inheritance are extraordinarily specific. As per Muslim Law, daughters have right to maintenance and shelter in their parent’s house till they get married. Under Muslim law, both Sunni and Shia, a daughter is entitled to succeed to the property of the parents, yet there are customs and statutes, the operation of which excludes a daughter from inheritance. Such customs and statutes are treated as valid and daughters as non-existent at the time of opening of the succession.
According to Christian Law, a daughter inherits equally irrespective of the fact whether she has siblings or not. She also has the complete right to the personal property upon attaining majority.