SC Suggests Amending Hindu Succession Act Which Excludes Female Members Of Scheduled Tribes From Its Preview
The Supreme Court has urged the Central Government to consider amending the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act which excludes the members of the Scheduled Tribe from the purview of the Hindu Succession Act.
The bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishan Murari observed that "To deny the equal right to the daughter belonging to the tribal even after a period of 70 years of the Constitution of India under which right to equality is guaranteed, it is high time for the Central Government to look into the matter and if required, to amend the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act by which the Hindu Succession Act is not made applicable to the members of the Scheduled Tribe."
Advocate Aneesh Mittal appeared for the appellant whereas Advocate Kedarnath Tripathy appeared on behalf of the contesting respondents.
The Court was dealing with the question of whether the appellant in the instant case being the daughter is entitled to the share in the compensation with respect to the land acquired, on survivorship basis under the provisions of Hindu Succession Act?
In this case, the appellant belonged to tribal community and is a member of Scheduled Tribe.
The Court noted that as per Section 2(2) of the Hindu Succession Act, the Hindu Succession Act will not be applicable to the members of the Scheduled Tribe.
Thus the Court observed that as long as Section 2(2) of the Hindu Succession Act stands and there is no amendment, the parties shall be governed by the provisions of Section 2(2) of the Hindu Succession Act.
"If the claim of the appellant on the basis of the survivorship under the Hindu Succession Act is accepted in that case it would tantamount to amend the law. It is for the legislature to amend the law and not the Court.", the Court held.
Thus the Court held that in view of Section 2(2) of the Hindu Succession Act and the appellant being the member of the Scheduled Tribe and as the female member of the Scheduled Tribe is specifically excluded, the appellant is not entitled to any right of survivorship under the provisions of Hindu Succession Act.
However, before parting with the Judgment, the Court observed that when the daughter belonging to the nontribal is entitled to the equal share in the property of the father, there is no reason to deny such right to the daughter of the Tribal community.
Therefore the Court directed the Central Government to "…examine the question by the Central Government to consider it just and necessary to withdraw the exemptions provided under the Hindu Succession Act in so far as the applicability of the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act to the Scheduled Tribes and whether to bring a suitable amendment or not."
Cause Title- Kamla Neti (Dead) through LRs v. The Special Land Acquisition Officer & Ors.