Earlier, women faced discrimination in matters of property ownership in India. Especially, married women had limited rights in their parental property. Widows lived their lives at the mercy of their sons. However, the norms have changed today, and the government is considerate towards the equality of rights in the property.
Many progressive steps have been taken to promote property holding among women in recent times such as offering home loan at concessional rates and keeping stamp duty charges lower. The Centre puts its foot forward to empower women's property rights through various amendments to legislation. Know how the property rights have evolved and what is the share for women in India
Women and their Property Rights
A woman over 18 years of age has all the rights to buy property in India and full ownership rights on property bought by her or willed to her or gifted to her by her parents. She can also sell or give it away as a gift or through a will. The rights do not change after her marriage. Daughters have equal right of inheritance as sons to their father's property as well as having a share in the mother's property. This is true for property self-acquired by the parent. The rules, however, differ for ancestral property (inherited by the parent), based on whether the parent was alive as of September 2005 or not.
Introduction of the Act
Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act introduced in 1956 declared that “Any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner.” By property, the government includes both movable and immovable ones. In spite of this act and right, women mostly were unaware of their rights, and they falsely believed to have only limited powers over property, besides numerous other restrictions. The same Act was once again amended in 2005 for equal property rights of Women as previously, a woman had no right to joint ownership or coparcenary property. Section 6 of the amended Act talks about the devolution of interest in coparcenary properties which allows a daughter to become an owner of the coparcenary property by birthright in the same manner as a son does. Widows are also entitled to claim a share equal to that of their children at the time of distribution of the joint family property among the sons. The amended act applied to the various sects and castes of Hindus, along with Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains.