Sections Of Hindu Succession Act Gender Biased? SC asks Centre To File Reply

Supreme Court

New Delhi: Supreme Court heard a petition on Tuesday alleging sections of the Hindu Succession Act are unconstitutional and violate gender equality”. The petition was heard by SC at a time debate around the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is largely focused on gender injustice perceived to be prevalent in the personal laws of minority communities.

The Centre has been given four weeks to respond.

The petition states, “The court should intervene on behalf of Hindu women because while society is moving towards gender equality, the Hindu Succession Act discriminates based on gender.”

The petition was filed by Kamal Anant Khopkar. Khopkar’s petition was heard by a three-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and Bela Trivedi.

The plea points to “deeply rooted patriarchal ideology” in the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act and spotlights how the husband’s family comes first in the line of inheritance even before the dead woman’s own parents.

As per the petition, the provisions in the Hindu Succession Act, manage to retain property largely within the male lineage.

“It is irrelevant weather the personal law was established on the basis of practice or religion or if it is codified or not… If it violates gender equality, it can be challenged,” the petitioner said.

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