As a law firm specialized in handling cases of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), we present our opinion on Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 – which deals with the devolution of a female’s property if she dies intestate, and was amended in 2005 to give equal rights to daughters in ancestral property.
Section 6, as it stands today after amendment by the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, provides that any daughter who is alive at the time of her father’s death has an equal share as that of sons in coparcenary property. This provision applies even if such daughters were born before September 9th, 2005. Further clarification on this matter was provided by the Supreme Court in Prakash v Phulavati case where it was held that “the rights under the amendment are applicable to living daughters of living coparceners as on September 9th”, thus making it only prospective and not retrospective.
In addition, five High Courts including Delhi have stated courts held that ancestral properties cannot be sold without consent from all legal heirs or partition deed. Moreover, once an individual becomes an NRI they may face difficulty proving their right over inherited property located within India especially when other legal heirs reside outside India.
Furthermore, confusion arises when there are conflicting claims made by family members about ownership and inheritances resulting into disputes requiring settlement through litigation. In case where there is no will or testamentary document made prior to death on how assets should be distributed amongst surviving parties then it falls under “intestate succession”. Subsequently Intestate succession rules come into play for distribution purposes; thereby invoking section six and its amendments regarding females inheritance rights .
For example one landmark case concerning Section Six Amendment is Vineeta Sharma vs Rakesh Sharma; where court has explaind difference between self acquired and ancestral properties stating “no distinction shall be made between ancestral property and other property owned/control by father at time of his death”
Therefore, Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 is a crucial legal provision that entitles daughters to receive an equal share in ancestral properties. This amendment has brought about significant changes in the Indian inheritance law, providing gender equality among Hindus. However, its application remains complex especially when involving Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). In order for NRIs to assert their rights over inherited property located within India they may need assistance from lawyers specializing in this aspect of law as shown by numerous case laws such as Mohinder Kaur vs Roshan Lal & Ors where NRI faced difficulties due to fraudulent transactions carried out without consent from all legal heirs.