Addressing Gender Injustice: VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA 2020

    INTRODUCTION: VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA

    VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA - Hindu Succession Act,2005 - ancestral rights - unobstructed heritage rights - daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener
    VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 r

    After the amendment of the old Hindu Succession Act, the new act of 2005 which came into effect from 9th September 2005, daughters who were not recognized as coparcener unlike son under section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act,1956 where only sons were recognized to have a special right as Hindu coparcenary to inherit the coparcenary property by birth, gave equal rights to the daughters and recognized them to be as coparceners equivalent to sons.

    Prior to the Hindu Succession Act, 2005 the rights of women were non-existent, the new act codified laws and amended them to bring justice to women and to give them equal rights. However, under this new law, the rights of the daughter will not affect or invalidate in respect of any partition, alienation, or disposition of any property done before 20th December 2004.

    HISTORY OF THE CASE:

    Vineeta Sharma, the daughter of the deceased, Dr. Shailendra Sharma filed a Civil Suit against her brothers and mother in respect of a premise which was situated in A-53, South Extension Part, II, New Delhi. The suit property was purchased by their father and stayed on the built-up property along with his family for some time and that he also let out a portion of the property to tenants. Vineeta Sharma also claimed that she was entitled to one-fourth of the property and that she is also in possession of the said premises as some of the assets inside belonged to her. Also that she would stay in suit premises whenever she visits.

    FACTS OF THE CASE:

    VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA - Hindu Succession Act,2005 - ancestral rights - unobstructed heritage rights - daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener
    VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener

    The plaintiff claimed that on 21st July 2001 it was decided orally that the property will be divided according to meters and boundaries and if it could not conform to such then the plaintiff will get the entire roof as her share. She alleged that the defendants have been neglecting to give her the required share.

    The defendants through a written statement denied any oral settlement and claimed that the suit property was a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property and that their father has executed a will in favor of the defendant.

    The plaintiff reverted that the suit premise was not a HUF property and denied of any will executed by their father as the state of the will was untraceable.

    The plaintiff valued the suit premises of an amount of Rs 40 lakhs. The court fee of Rs 19.50 lakhs only was payable for the relief of partition.

    The defendants responded that the plaintiff being married daughter had restricted rights and did not seek partition regarding the suit property. And that one of the defendants has paid a substantial amount in the contribution for the development of the property and has also paid an amount of Rs 11,000/- as repayment of the loans taken for the construction of the premise which was taken by their father.

    ISSUE:

    There were many issues raised following the trial:

    • Whether the plaintiff has constructive possession of the said premise and whether the suit is properly valued for court fee?
    • Whether the suit property was orally settled on 21st July 2001?
    • Whether the said property was a HUF property?
    • Shares of the party and how much they are entitled to.
    • Whether the suit constitutes under section 23 of the Hindu Succession Act, 2005.

    DECISION HELD:

    The Supreme Court held that- An individual’s unobstructed heritage rights bestows upon them since the time of their birth. But the obstructed heritage rights take place after the death of the owner. As per the amended section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 2005 it’s not necessary that the father should have been alive during the settlement held on 9th September 2005, as the new section 6 allows a daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener by birth in her rights and liabilities, in a similar manner as a son.

    Thus the daughter was also entitled to suit property as of from 9th September 2005. The ruling of the Supreme Court amended that the act will be applicable retrospectively, to highlight the injustice done to women in the past. Hence, the decree declared the plaintiff entitled to the suit premise and the one-fourth share she claimed. However, it was considered to the condition of paying a deficient court fee by the plaintiff as decided which was required to be deposited within four weeks from the date of the decree.

    GENDER JUSTICE : DAUGHTER'S COPARCENERY RIGHTS (Vineeta Sharma vs Rakesh  Sharma on 11 August, 2020)

    CONCLUSION:

    Initially, before the Hindu Succession Act,2005, the present Act, did not give in paramount significance to the injustice done to the women concerning their ancestral rights to being a coparcenary. Only the male member of the family was held dominant to be the rightful heir to the ancestral property. Patriarchal society subdues women from even achieving their inheriting rights and did not even consider their basic rights. After the amendment of the act, the 2005 act has altered section 6 and has allowed women to become a coparcener and to not detract their basic ancestral and inheriting rights they are supposed to have from birth.

    By Angana Khatoniar.

    VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA –

    Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener VINEETA SHARMA VS. RAKESH SHARMA – Hindu Succession Act,2005 – ancestral rights – unobstructed heritage rights – daughter of a coparcener becomes a coparcener