Q) The recent Supreme Court judgement on the Hindu Succession Act, paves the way for the long term empowerment of women in India. Critically examine.
Why this question
Women’s day was recently celebrated.
Key demand of the question
Significance of the recent Supreme Court judgement and how it will act as a tool for women empowerment.
Critically examine- Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding the topic. Try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues identified are most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.
Briefly give an overview of the condition of women in India and their previous inheritance rights.
In the first part, highlight the significance of the recent Supreme Court judgement on the Hindu Succession Act.
In the next part, examine how it will help in women empowerment in India.
Conclude with a way forward.
In August 2020, the apex court of India expanded on a Hindu woman’s right to be joint legal heir and inherit ancestral property on terms equal to the male heirs. The judgement pertains to the Hindu Succession (amendment) Act, 2005. The court declared that the daughters would have coparcenary rights in a joint Hindu family equal to that of the male heirs irrespective of the father being alive (or not) before the date of enactment of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005. The Mitakshara school of Hindu law is codified as the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and it governs succession and inheritance of property but only recognised males as legal heirs.
Significance of the judgement
- It upholds the constitutional value of equality among all.
- It is a step towards the empowerment of women who were at times abandoned by the family.
- It is a step to ensure economic independence of a lot of women in India.
- It is aligned with the present day needs of the society where women have been contributing significantly to the economy.
- Through this ruling, the SC has now categorically ruled that the daughters’ right flows from their birth and not by any other factor such as the existence of their fathers.
- The ruling acts as a clarification on the previous confusions related to succession by women.
India has since ages been a male dominated society where women were looked down upon. women have traditionally been facing issues like female foeticide, infanticide, child marriages, domestic violence, sexual harassment, unequal treatment at home and workplace, unequal pay for equal work, etc. the judgment is in sync with a larger churn in Indian life, that has seen women extract similar concessions from families and religions, that involves citizens and communities using constitutional promises to push institutions towards change. This ruling is a seal on a substantive change in the Hindu undivided family.
The above Supreme Court judgement is a forward step towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment. however an equal amount of behavioural change is required for achieving the desired objectives. It is now the government’s and the civil society’s role to increase awareness among the society and ensure gender equality