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Succession Right to Married Daughter in the Lease Premises

Succession Right to Married Daughter

The Supreme Court passed a judgment regarding the right of the married daughter in succession. It is of the view that a married daughter also has a right to succession over the leased premises. The bench said that under the provisions of the Goa Succession, Special Notaries and Inventory Proceedings Act, 2012 the married daughter would now have the said right.

Facts of the case

The Apex Court was considering the appeal of the order of the Bombay High Court. The HC in its judgment had said that the married woman is not qualified for the succession.  The High Court gave its judgment in the light of the provisions of the Goa Succession, Special Notaries and Inventory Proceedings Act, 2012. These provisions are not in favor of the transfer of the leased premises to the married daughter. In the case of Uma Mahesh Bandekar vs. Vivek Sadanand Marathe[1], the Bombay High Court gave this judgment which was appealed.

Observations of the Supreme Court

The bench consisting of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice MR Shah looked after the case. They were of the opinion that section 5 of the provisions of the Goa Succession, Special Notaries and Inventory Proceedings Act, 2012 does not make it clear whether the daughter is married or not. If it is not clear then the married daughter should also be given such right. The bench observed; “it is not disputed to the proposition, whether Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 makes no distinction as to the gender of the child or as to the order of birth or as to the status of being single or married to discriminate in matters relating to succession.”

“Even otherwise, as per Section 68 of the Inventory Proceeding Act, 2012. All the children and their descendants succeed to their respective parents and other ascendants, without distinction of sex or age. Thus, under the provisions of the erstwhile Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 and under the provisions of the Inventory Proceeding Act, 2012. There is no further classification between a daughter married or unmarried and son.” The bench says.

Views on the judgment of Inventory and the High Court

The Apex Court is of the view, ” It is required to be noted that the proceedings before the inventory court and the High Court were not at all with respect to Goa Rent Act. The proceedings were not between the landlord and the tenant. The provisions of the Goa Rent Act shall be applicable with respect to the dispute between the landlord and the tenant. As per the preamble of the Goa Rent Act, it has been enacted for control of rents and evictions.”

“It is observed that the dispute was neither under the provisions of the Goa Rent Act nor between the landlord and the tenant. Therefore both, the inventory court, as well as the High Court, have erred in considering the provisions of the Goa Rent Act, more particularly Section 2(o) of the Goa Rent Act. The only question which was before the inventory court and the High Court was in respect of the rights of succession of a married daughter in the “leased premises” under the provisions of the Portuguese Civil Code and subsequently under the provisions of the Inventory Proceeding Act, 2012.” the court says.

The judgment of the court

The court after hearing the case passed the judgment. The court said as there is no distinction regarding sex or nature. The bench is of the view that the married daughter would also get the right to succession. “Therefore, considering the scheme and the provisions of the erstwhile Portuguese Civil Code and as per the provisions of the Inventory Proceeding Act, 2012. Even the married daughter would have a right of succession in the leased premises.”

The court passed the judgment as for the impugned. Orders passed by the inventory court and the High Court are hereby quashed and set aside. The court also gave reference to the case of Mohammad Laiquiddin v. Kamla Devi Mishra[2]. In this case, the right of succession to the married daughter in the leased premises was considered.

Conclusion

To sum up the judgment of the court, the decision is in favor of the married woman. Women can now get the right of succession in the leased premises. This order is passed as the provisions of the Goa Act were failed to make the distinction properly.

[1] CIVIL APPEAL No. 2961 of 2019.

[2] (2012) 2 SCC 407.

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by Gargi Sharma

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