Tribal women win two decade long social battle to inherit ancestral property


Barred from the right to inherit ancestral property under societal laws, tribal women in Himachal Pradesh have a reason to cheer as their two decade-long social movement to secure the right has been legally vindicated.

According to PTI, the landmark judgment was handed out by the Himachal Pradesh High Court on June 23 this year that tribal women are entitled to inherit property in accordance with Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

“The daughters in tribal areas in the state shall inherit the property in accordance with Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and not as per customs and usages in order to prevent the women from social injustice and all forms of exploitation,” held Justice Rajiv Sharma in his 60-page order.

Upholding the order passed by District Judge, Chamba, in 2002 to grant legal rights to women in family property, which pertained to a row in Gaddi (tribals) family in Chamba district, the court said “the tribal belts have modernized with the passage of time. They profess Hindu rites and customs. They do not follow different Gods. Their culture may be different but customs must conform to the constitutional philosophy.

“The women have to be advanced socially and economically to bestow upon them dignity. The daughters in a society, who are Hindu, cannot be left and segregated from mainstream. They are entitled to equal share in the property, needless to add that gender discrimination violates fundamental rights,” the HC order said.

Image Credit : Wikipedia

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