DMK MP P. Wilson Demands Inclusion of ST Women in Hindu Succession Act

(Judicial Quest News Network)

New Delhi March 20, 2023: DMK MP. Wilson has written to the Union Minister for Tribal affairs Arjun Munda, and the Union Minister for social Justice and Empowerment Virender Kumar seeking to take steps to ensure inherited property rights to women belonging to Scheduled Tribes under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, Section 2 (2).

In his letter the MP highlighted that under the Hindu succession Act, 1956, did not recognize the right of daughters to equally inherit property of the Father or the Hindu Undivided Family [HUF]. However after the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005 (Act 39 of 2005), the legal position is that all the Hindu women are treated equally to men in so far as the inheritance of the property is concerned.

He further submitted that “Notwithstanding with anything contained in sub-section (1), nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the members of any scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by notification in the official Gazette, otherwise Directs”.

He emphasized in his letter that the law had now evolved to an extent where any discrimination based on gender cannot be sustained it is the anti-thesis of Article 14 of the Constitution. The data shows that within scheduled Tribes, women are more disadvantageous group due to the historic oppression and lack of access to education, employment and property therefore continuing this trend of depriving access to inheritance to Scheduled Tribe women cannot be consciously permitted by us.

He cited recent orders of the Supreme Court and Madras High Court.

He thus requested the Ministers to issue a notification under section 2 (2) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, to apply the beneficial provisions of the Act to the female members of the Scheduled Tribes, except in cases where the existing customs of the Scheduled Tribes are more beneficial to the Scheduled Tribes women than the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This will only help bridge the gender gap within the Scheduled Tribe Community and will pave the way for inclusive growth and parity within the Scheduled Tribes.

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