Succession to a Hindu male dying intestate will vest only in the widow excluding the daughters

SupremeCourt of india

Supreme Court: While construing the provisions of Hindu Law Women’s Rights Act, 1933, the Court held that the succession to a Hindu male dying intestate will vest only in the widow under Section 4(1)(ii) to the exclusion of the daughters.

 In the present case, two brother and the wife of elder brother constituted a joint Hindu family. The elder brother was the Karta of the said family. Both the brothers had partition and divided their joint family properties. The younger brother died intestate, leaving behind his widow and three daughters. Later, the widow executed a will bequeathing her share in the joint family property in favour of only one of the three daughters. One of the daughters filed a suit claiming her 1/4th share in the property as per Section 10(2)(g) of the 1933 Act.

Shri S.N. Bhat, learned counsel of the respondent, also invited the attention of the Court to Section 8(1)(d) of the Act and according to him since joint family property passed to younger brother who was a single coparcener by survivorship, on partition, all the classes of females mentioned in Section 8 would be entitled to a share in the said property which would include not only his widow but also his unmarried daughters.

The Court while dismissing the appeal of the daughter held that under Section 10(1)(g), it is only property taken by inheritance by a female from her husband that is included in stridhan. This would not include the unmarried daughters as property taken by inheritance by a female from her father is not included. Therefore, succession to a Hindu male dying intestate will vest only in the widow under Section 4(1)(ii) to the exclusion of the daughters.  [L. Gowramma v. Sunanda, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 35, decided on January 12, 2016]

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