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By Jhanvi Dugar Monday, Sep 07, 2020
“We cannot change what we are not aware of,
And once we are aware; we cannot help but change” -Sheryl Sandberg
Economiquent egal is a French word for economically equal and due to the Supreme Court historic judgement on 11th August,2020 ruled that daughters have the same rights as sons to Hindu parental or ancestral property and, importantly, even if the father had died before the enactment of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act (HSA Amendment) of 2005.
A three-judge bench composed of Justice Arun Mishra, S Nazeer and M R Shah delivered the verdict arguing that withholding coparcenary rights to daughters amounted to discrimination. A coparcener is any person who has a legal claim over parental property by virtue of birth.
Justice Arun Kumar, who was heading the apex court bench, stated, 'Daughters must be given equal rights as sons, a daughter remains a loving daughter throughout life.' This act proved that daughters are not only special for their parents, a blessing but also equal. The reason that this was a historic judgement was that earlier that the father had to stay alive in order to make the daughter a legal heir. But , with the growing awareness of the fact that women are much more stronger than men or rather equal and therefore deserve equal footing in everything .
Crucially, the ruling also clarifies that the law can be applied retrospectively. However, it stated that any partition of the property that was only agreed upon verbally, and without written consent will not be treated as binding.
The apex court also directed that ‘as far as possible’, all pending cases relating to property disputes that involved the rights of daughters to be resolved within six months noting that “daughters cannot be deprived of their right of equality”.
As for how the court arrived at the judgement, the bench noted that the 2005 amendment recognised that the right of a daughter to parental or ancestral property was granted at birth.
It said, “The conferral of a right is by birth, and the rights are given in the same manner with incidents of coparcenary as that of a son and she is treated as a coparcener in the same manner with the same rights as if she had been a son at the time of birth.”This Act will propel women to get what they deserve and never to compromise or let things which belong to them be taken away because people think that they are not deserving of it or do not have the capability required to manage their father’s property .
Although there are critics who felt that this amendment should not have been implemented and an incident took place in Bangalore where a couple was beaten simply for passing a proud message of the verdict of the Supreme Court on Whatsapp .These critics are simply people who fear that if women are given equal opportunities then it would be difficult for people to excel due to the fact that women when given opportunities will seize it and make the best out of it .
It was a watershed moment wherein the shackles of patriarchal society were broken with more involvement of women in family business and companies where they were considered to be inefficient .The time has now come for women to claim what is theirs ,not to step back and not to let their dreams shatter . . In patriarchal families, women are afraid to raise their voice to claim what is rightfully due to them. With this ruling, law clarifies that all women have equal rights to ancestral property and not to be overlooked. Every woman can now fly with their wings open, sliding through the breeze and reaching heights which they always wanted to. It is time for women to feel what being treated equally means, something which every woman longed for and it has now turned into reality. Hopefully many such changes will slowly come into existence which will make women feel equal,respected and empowered and stronger than they had estimated themselves to be .Time to discover our potentiality! I would end by saying:
“There is no end to what we as women can accomplish.” -Michelle Obama
-by Jhanvi Dugar
H-034, Pre SC C