- Research/Scholar Paper name – “An Analysis of Property Rights of Hindu Widow and its Judicial Interpretation”
- Author: Munira Bharmal
- Institution: United World School of Law
- Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
- Date of Publication: 16/11/2021
No laws were dealing with a woman’s property rights before 1937. The Act was passed in order to improve the state of a woman’s rights. According to the Act, a Hindu widow has an apparent right to empower her husband’s property that he was entitled to, whether it was self-acquired or coparcenary. She could ask for her share to be partitioned from other shares or coparceners. However, she was restricted from selling or alienating her stake unless it was for an approved or sanctioned cause.
In Hindu widow remarriage act, 1856, the right to property over the deceased husband’s property would be forfeited on the remarriage of a widow. It states that “All the rights and interest which any widow may have in her husband’s deceased property… shall upon remarriage cease and the next heirs of her deceased husband or the other person is entitled to the proportion her death, shall thereupon succeed to the same”. This Act, therefore, used to deny the rights of such widow on remarriage by many families even when the customary laws had permitted her to retain the possession.
When a widow remarries, she cannot be denied a share of her late husband’s property since she is an absolute owner of her deceased husband’s property to the extent of her part, and the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 will take precedence over the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, 1856. As a result, the Supreme Court determined that section 4 will take precedence over any Hindu law, including the Hindu widow’s remarriage act. Thus, all property acquired by a Hindu female after June 17, 1956, will be her absolute possession unless a specified limitation is imposed. When the Act takes effect, the woman’s estate is changed into her absolute estate.