As a law firm advising clients on matters pertaining to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, we would like to offer our opinion on Section 6 of the said Act. This provision deals with the distribution of property in case of intestacy (when a person dies without leaving a will) among male Hindu heirs.
Under this provision, if a male Hindu dies intestate, his property shall be distributed among his heirs according to the provisions set out in this Act. The list of Class I heirs includes wife, children (both sons and daughters), mother and other relatives as specified in the Act. In cases where there are no Class I heirs available to inherit the property left behind by the deceased male Hindu, it goes to Class II heirs which include father’s mother & grandfather’s mother.
The purpose behind enacting such laws was to ensure that women were given equal rights when it came to inheriting their parent’s wealth/property so that they do not face discrimination based on gender. It is important for non-resident Indians (NRIs) who are Hindus or those wanting to understand about Indian inheritance law because these laws affect how their assets will pass after they die.
A few relevant provisions under this section which merits attention include:
– If there is only one surviving female heir then she inherits all
– A pre-deceased son’s daughter also has an equal share as
other living grandchildren.
– Daughters have had an equal right over ancestral properties through retrospective application.
Additionally, several landmark court decisions have been passed interpreting Section 6 of Hindu Succession Act towards safeguarding interests of women family members. Here are some key cases reflecting how courts interpreted various aspects related to this section:
1. Prakash v Phulavati – In September 2015 Supreme Court held that daughters will have an equal coparcenary right along with sons from birth while disposing off parental property same as ancestry property rites.
2. Danamma v Amar – The Apex Court ruled that daughters-in-law shall have the right to inherit their husband’s share after he passes away, in equal proportion to sons.
3. Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma – In August 2020 Supreme Court upheld Hindu succession law which mandated equal inheritance rights for women and men.
In conclusion, Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act has been introduced with a view to safeguarding gender equality when it comes to property rights amidst Hindus or those governed under this Act. It is important for NRIs who are Hindus and those interested in Indian inheritance law to understand this provision along with its relevant clauses fully as they play critical role among multi-generational families who may own substantial properties/assets which need careful attention when passing them on in case an individual dies intestate.