Widow who remarries does not lose rights over late husband’s property

Bombay High Court: In a judgment, a bench comprising of VM Kanade and CB Colabawalla, JJ  has ruled that a widow, even after she has remarried, has the rights over her former husband’s properties. In the present case, the petition was filed by a man against his former sister-in-law who had claimed the right over her deceased husband’s properties after she married another man.

The brother of the deceased relied  on the provisions of the  Hindu Widows’ Re-marriage Act, 1856, which stated the limited right and interest which a widow had in her deceased husband’s property would cease to exist if she remarries without express permission, and the next heirs of her deceased husband, or other persons entitled to the property, shall thereupon succeed to the same.

The Court ruled that provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 would prevail over the repealed Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act, 1856. There was no provision in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 which was pari materia with section 2 of the Hindu Widows’ Re-Marriage Act, 1856. The Court further observed that even after remarriage  she would qualify as Class I heir and the husband’s kin would still be a Class II heir.  It was further observed that a woman doesn’t lose rights over her dead husband’s properties – moveable and immoveable even if she remarries. Sanjay Purshottam Patankar vs. Prajakta Pramnod Patil, 2015 SCC OnLine Bom 3487, decided on 25th June, 2015

 

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