Sujata Sharma vs Manu Gupta case determined the status of women as ‘Karta’ in the Hindu family.
- Dr. Gupta and his sons had a long-term lease on a home in Delhi, and a few moveable items and shares. Mr. DR Gupta died on October 1, 1971, leaving five sons and their individual families behind.
- The Hindu Undivided Family’s Karta was Mr. Kishan Mohan Gupta, the oldest son. All five sons of DR Gupta died afterward, and the son of Kishan Gupta’s younger brother declared himself the Karta of the HUF because he was the oldest living member of the HUF.
- The plaintiff challenged him by stating that after her father and her uncles; she is the senior-most member of HUF, the eldest daughter of Mr. Kishan Gupta.
Is the eldest daughter of the coparceners of a Hindu Undivided household eligible for the title of Karta?
- Plaintiff’s contention
Plaintiff argued that being a lady couldn’t be the primary cause for her being denied the position of Karta. She further claimed that under the new clause, a coparcener’s daughter can have the same rights as a coparcener’s son during a HUF.
- Defendant’s contention
The defendant disputed such assertions, claiming that the new section 6 of the HSA only gives daughters the same rights as male members to be deemed coparceners, but not to manage HUF property. He further contended that, because the complainant is married, she cannot be deemed a necessary component of HUF.
BENCH: JUSTICE NAJMI WAZIRI
The court concluded in Prakash v. Phoolwati that the 2005 modification will have a prospective effect, meaning that only women can claim to be Karta if their predecessor dies on or after September 9, 2005. However, even though her father died before the 2005 amendment, the Court ruled that women had the right to become Kartas in the instance at hand.
With all due respect, the preceding conclusion is shaky since it fails to describe the Karta of HUF’s true position and role. The court simply looked at the Karta’s proprietary rights and administration, ignoring other factors like the Karta’s socio-religious role in HUF.
- While women have equal rights in a HUF property, the Delhi High Court ruled it could not reduce this right in the administration of the same property.
- The court said that the obstacle to a woman member of a HUF becoming its Karta was that she lacked the essential Copartnership credentials.
- This deprivation has now been removed via the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, therefore there is no longer any reason Hindu women should be denied the post of Karta in a Hindu family. A female member might be Karta if the eldest son is frequently Karta.
- When the legislature passed the 2005 amending legislation, they wanted female members of the HUF to inherit Mitakshara coparcenary property.
- Discrimination persists today because of ambiguity in the Amendment Act’s terms and a lack of understanding of recent modifications. However, by adding the administration of the HUF property, this ruling has established the legislature’s genuine objective.
- It is hoped that it would help to eliminate gender discrimination, oppression, and the denial of women’s fundamental right to equality granted by the Indian Constitution. And, over time, increase women’s status in society’s hierarchy.
- Women were regarded physically and psychologically inferior to males before the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005. The Hindu women’s right to property is ignored by the Indian patriarchal culture, and she or he is bred to suffer inequity and oppression.
- The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, went into effect on September 9, 2005, implementing the revisions proposed in the Law Commission of India’s 174th Report.
- A woman by birth becomes a coparcener in the same way that a son does under the newly revised clause.
- As a result, the daughter now has the same rights and responsibilities as a son. She has full access to her father’s property as well as her in-laws’.
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