In a landmark verdict, Delhi HC rules Hindu women can be ‘Karta’ of a family

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court in a landmark verdict said that the eldest female member of the family can be its ‘karta’, reports a leading English daily.

‘Karta’, denotes managership of a joint family and is traditionally inherited by male members of the family. The person who is the ‘Karta’ in the family holds position superior to that of others and has an authority to look after property, rituals and other crucial affairs of the family.

“If a male member of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), by virtue of his being the first-born eldest, can be a Karta, so can a female member. The court finds no restriction in law preventing the eldest female co-parcenor of an HUF, from being its Karta,” Justice Najmi Waziri said.

The verdict was given in the case where a suit was filed by the eldest daughter of the business family in north Delhi. She was staking claim to be Karta and challenging her cousin brother’s claim after the passing of her father and three uncles.

The family had four brothers and after they passed away, the eldest son of a younger brother declared himself to be the next Karta. This was challenged by the daughter of the eldest brother who is now the seniormost member in the family.

In 2005, amendments to the Hindu Succession Act introduced Section 6 that allowed women to inherit property in a level-playing field. The son said that Hindu law recognised a male’s right to be the next Karta and added that Section 6 only gave equal rights to men when it came to succession of ancestral properties and not management of estate .

But Justice Waziri said Section 6 gave “equal rights of inheritance to Hindu males and females, its objective is to recognise the rights of female Hindus and to enhance their rights to equality apropos succession.

Therefore, courts would be extremely vigilant in any endeavor to curtail or fetter statutory guarantee of enhancement of their rights. Now that this disqualification has been removed by the 2005 amendment, there is no reason why Hindu women should be denied the position of a Karta.”

Posted by on February 1, 2016. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.