The term coparcenary deals with the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. It broadly talks about the legal rights relating to ancestral property. It has derived its source from the concept and practices of Hindu undivided family.
The existence of Hindu law has surpassed the values of two schools of Hindu Law. These two schools only run in those areas where there is no defined and codified law. The era of digests and commentaries marked the origin of-
- Mitakshara School
- Dayabhaga School
According to Mitakshara school of thought, principal pf propinquity was followed for inheritance which means inheritance according to the closeness of blood relation. The same principle was also followed by the Hindu Succession Act 1956. The rights in the parental property were exclusively with sons by birth while the daughters did not own any rights in inheritance. This rule of allocation was called as doctrine of survivorship. In short it explains that property will be allocated to the one who could continue the survival of family.
According to Dayabhaga school of thought, principal of inheritance was completely different, and it was based on different thought which explained that inheritance would be based on religious reward and spiritual benefit. This school of thought enable females to inherit the property. There was no rule for rights of property to only sons by birth but instead it talked about that right arises after the death of karta, who is an ultimate head of family. The sons acquire the rights and interests in the ancestral property as heirs and not survivors.
COPARCENARY- THE PAST
Since the time we look back the laws relating to property have only been men centric and woman has always been treated a subservient who is dependent on male support. Prior to independence customary laws which varied from region to region governed Hindus. This multiplicity of succession laws in India made the property laws overly complex.
COPARCENARY- THE PRESENT
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” -John F. Kennedy
The ancient concept of coparcenary has tremendously changed over the period of time. The amendment of 2005 allowed the daughters of deceased equal rights as of son. The essential aim of the development was to dignify them with equal rights and prestige.
The amendment of 2005 which talks about inheritance of daughter has a retrospective effect however the amendment act is not retrospective in nature.
The amendment has brought up equality in the society and now all the daughters have equal rights and liabilities with respect to ancestral property unlike the past times where the laws were only male dominant. Females of the family now have the right to acquire the position of the Karta or head of the family breaking all the prejudices. This has led to the empowerment of women with strength and social worth.
The people and the law have indeed come a far way. The future of coparcenary lies in continuously developing the status of women by bring gender equality into force in aspects of life.
It is of utmost importance to understand that equality can only exist if there is a phenomenon of awareness and approval. The need of hour is to give due focus on awareness and changing the existing social attitudes of people.
More and more campaigns for legal literacy, advantages of the rights must be propagated towards each section of society!