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SC: Daughters will get preference in inheritance even if there is no will

New Delhi: In a substantial verdict, the Supreme Court on Thursday (January 21) stated the daughters of a male Hindu, dying intestate, might be entitled to inherit the self-received and other residences obtained within the partition by the Father and get preference over different collateral contributors of the family.

The judgment, which got here on an appeal against the Madras High Court verdict, treated the property rights of Hindu women and widows below the Hindu Succession Act.

“If a property of a male Hindu demise intestate (without a will) is a self-acquired belonging or obtained in the partition of a coparcenary or a circle of relatives belongings, the same could devolve by using inheritance and now not via survivorship, and a daughter of any such male Hindu would be entitled to inherit such belongings in preference to other collaterals (consisting of sons/daughters of brothers of deceased father),” a bench of justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari said.

The bench turned into managing the legal problem concerning the right of the daughter to inherit the self-acquired property of her father, in the absence of another criminal inheritor.


Justice Murari, writing the fifty one-page judgment for the bench, also handled the query of whether such property will devolve on to the daughter upon the loss of life of her father, who died without a will, via inheritance or shall devolve directly to “father’s brother’s son with the aid of survivorship”.

“Right of a widow or daughter to inherit the self-received assets or percentage obtained in the partition of coparcenary assets of a Hindu male loss of life intestate is properly identified no longer only underneath the antique commonplace Hindu Law but additionally by various judicial pronouncements…,” the decision stated.

Referring to the prison provision, it stated the legislative cause turned into to remedy the issue of a Hindu lady who couldn’t claim an absolute interest in the homes inherited by means of her but best had an existence interest within the property so inherited.

“Section 14 (I) converted all restrained estates owned by way of girls into absolute estates and the succession of these properties in the absence of a will or testimony might take region in consonance with Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956…,” it stated.


If a female Hindu dies intestate without leaving any trouble, then the property inherited by using her from her mum or dad would visit the heirs of her father whereas the belongings inherited from her husband or father-in-law would visit the heirs of the husband, it said.

“The basic intention of the legislature in enacting Section 15(2) (of the Hindu Succession Act) is to make certain that inherited assets of a woman Hindu demise issueless and intestate, is going back to the source,” it stated.

Dealing with the data of the case, the bench set apart the trial court and the excessive court’s findings brushing off the partition fit of the daughters.

The apex court docket said, “…Since the assets in question turned into admittedly the self-received property of a father in spite of the family being in a state of jointness upon his loss of life intestate, his sole surviving daughter will inherit the identical by means of inheritance and the belongings shall now not devolve by using survivorship.


Thus, the impugned judgment and decree dated March 1, 1994, passed by using the Trial Court and confirmed through the High Court vide judgment and order dated January 21, 2009, aren’t at risk of being sustained and are hereby set apart,” it said.

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