Saturday, 25 May 2019

In India property rights are quite complex when it comes to women. How much share will they have in the net family property is quite a complicated calculation to do. This may get complicated when she gets married and becomes a daughter-in-law. A daughter and a daughter-in-law are guided by different laws when it comes to sharing the property. There are many instances where you have heard that a daughter-in-law has been deprived of her right to property under some circumstances. That is why it is important to know the laws beforehand. In case you are keen on knowing what the rights to property are for the daughter-in-law in India, here we are to provide you with the right information.

Hindu Succession Act, 1956
The Hindu Succession Act which was amended in 2005 is one of the fundamental laws regarding a daughter-in-law’s right to ancestral property. The Section 6(1) of the Act considers the daughter in a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) to be a coparcener or a person who owns a property in a direct line of descent. That means if you are a daughter, you have an equal property right in the family since your birth. On the other hand if you are a daughter-in-law, you become the member of the family as per the HUF rules but you don’t have a right as a coparcener. You can acquire the right to property through your husband’s net share in the household property. The property can either transferred to you willingly by your husband, or you can receive it in case of demise of your husband. You cannot claim any right on the property exclusively owned by your in-laws. In case of your in-laws death, the property will be inherited and shared among the children including your husband, whose share you can enjoy only.

Shared Property
According to the Section 17 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005, every woman can reside in the shared property. A shared property means:
·         The aggrieved woman or the victim has owned and jointly rented it with the accused
·         They own or pay rent separately but has an equal amount of right, equity, interest or title
·         If the accused stay in a joint family, that will also be considered as a shared property
It is not necessary for the violated woman to own or co-own the shared property. The Court has although ratified the definition of a shared property. They have held that a shared property doesn’t include the house of the husband’s parents in which she stayed with her husband till the Act was committed. If the concerned woman is denied a stay in the shared property, the conduct of whoever is accused, either the husband or any of his relatives will be considered as an abuse.

This is a very important law regarding a married woman’s access to property. It refers to all the gifts and endowments you receive during your wedding or before it and during giving birth. According to the Supreme Court, you have absolute claim over these properties. Even if you get estranged from your husband, your right over these remains the same. If you are denied the right, it will be regarded as a criminal offence.

Parent’s house
According to a law by Supreme Court, a father has all the legal right to give his married daughter to have access to his property, and give away the house he is staying after he has died depriving other relatives. In case he doesn’t leave behind a will, you can have equal rights on her father’s property in case you aren’t the only child. You can also have similar right on your mother’s property.

There are some areas where as a daughter-in-law, you cannot exercise your right to property. They are:
o   In case your husband stay separately from your father-in-law, you have no right over your in-law’s property. It will not be considered as a shared household.
o   In case the daughter-in-law is a widow, she has no rights to stay in the in-law household if they don’t permit her.
o   The parents-in-law has no liability to look after their daughter-in-law in case the husband fails to oblige or he is absent or deceased. She cannot claim any right over their self-acquired property.
o   You have no right over your mother-in-law’s property.

 In case you need a more detailed and thorough knowledge, it is advisable to contact a consultant expert in these matters. 

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