India has been a patriarchal society from a long time. Women haven’t enjoyed equal rights like men in many cases. They have been considered low compared to men and these practices got reflected almost everywhere. Just a few decades, we as a society, have started working on women rights. People are voicing what equality should be like. One such situation is the legal rights of daughters.
In the previous century, generally after the father’s death the ancestral or directly bought property of the father used to be inherited by the sons while daughters wouldn’t have a share. This faulty method created many problems for both married and unmarried women since that time few women used to work on jobs and many handled household chores without having any income. It made situations worse for married women with children since they also had to raise the family.
The Hindu Succession Act was passed in 2005 which stated that daughter has equal rights in father’s (or parent’s) property as sons and there won’t be any discrimination. The initial law stated that the father must be alive when the Act was passed on 9th September 2005 for the daughter to claim the property. If the father was deceased before it then the daughter won’t have any rights on the property.
There was little awareness about the Hindu Succession Act when it was passed and doubts even if people were aware of it. Many daughters and Indian families have faced great problems due to this and couldn’t even claim their right to property. Several other families took illegal advantages often leaving the women helpless. Not only sons took away the properties of their father but the family of a woman’s husband also took the properties after his death that rightly belonged to his wife. This was because of less formal education amongst Indian women.
Several court cases took place and some of them didn’t serve justice to women. It took 10 years for a change to come in the Hindu Succession Act. In 2015, the Supreme Court stated that a daughter can claim father’s property even if he wasn’t alive when the Act was passed. It also stated that if a daughter is born after 2005 she can still claim the right to her father’s property (which wasn’t the case earlier).
Further in the Hindu Succession Act, even in case of a married daughter who has died, her children shall be entitled to the shares that she would have received, if she was alive on the date of the partition. In case none of her children are alive on the day of partition, the grandchildren will be entitled to the shares that the daughter would have received on partition.
This right ensures a woman’s security of life maintenance after her marriage. This right is about the legal rights to be maintained by her husband. A married woman can claim basic living standards from her considering the income and property of her husband. Even after a separation, according to Indian law, she can get up to 25% of her husband’s net income as alimony.
The constitution provides legal rights to child maintenance. A husband has to provide financial support if his wife is not capable of giving financial support. In addition, a married woman can seek financial support from the property of her matrimonial for her child, because her child has legal rights on its grandparents and ancestral property. This right ensures a mother’s natural right to maintain her child.