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Parents may get share of dead married daughter's riches

June 10, 2008 20:27 IST

The proposal, which are part of the panel's 207th report, may benefit the elderly parents of rich women who are the only child of their parents.

The report, submitted to Law Minister H R Bhardwaj by Commission chairman Justice A R Lakshmanan on Tuesday, may also make life easy for elderly who allegedly face financial hardships due to ill-treatment by their own sons and daughters-in-law.

Such elderly may now get a financial cushion by way of getting a share in their married daughter's property after her death.

The report seeks to promote gender equality and remove an anomaly in Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, Commission's member secretary D P Sharma said. In case parents of such a woman are dead, he added, then her brother and sister would get a share in her riches.

The existing Section 15 of the Act seemed to be biased against the parents and relatives of a wealthy self-made woman. For instance, if a rich woman died leaving behind a mother-in-law and mother, then only her mother-in-law could acquire her wealth.

Sharma said the report has recommended that when a married Hindu woman dies without writing a will leaving self-acquired property with no heirs (sons, daughters, children of any pre-deceased son or daughter, husband), the property would be inherited simultaneously by the heirs of her husband and her parents.

In the absence of her parents, her property would be divided among heirs of her husband as well as the heirs of her father, the report said.

The Commission reviewed the Act on its own initiative in view of changes in the society over the past few decades where an increasing number of women have started working and acquiring wealth of their own.

These situations did not seem to have been in the contemplation of legislators when the Hindu Succession Act was enacted.

Another aspect which the Commission felt very important in the present scenario was that when amendments to the Act were made to the effect that women are entitled to inherit property from her parental side as well as from her husbands side, it would be quite justified if equal right is given to her parental heirs along with her husbands heirs to inherit her property when such a situation arises.

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