Hindu Widow Can't Be Deprived Of Property Vested In Her After Remarriage: Karnataka High Court
The Karnataka High Court has observed that a widow cannot be deprived of the property vested in her even after her second marriage.
A widow gets complete ownership of the share in her husband’s property that is transferred to her after the demise of her husband. Her remarriage would not take away the right of her share in the property, the judge noted.
The high court took this decision while turning down a petition filed by AN Amruth Kumar, son of Nagaraj Setty and a resident of Challakere town in Chitradurga district.
Nagaraj had two sons and a daughter from his first wife, who died. He then married for the second time and had another daughter from the second wife. Nagaraj passed away in 2006, leaving behind some property and a will.
According to the will, the property was to be shared between Nagaraj’s two sons from his first marriage and his second wife.
Amruth and his widowed stepmother AN Vanitha were parties to suit in a civil court for separate possession of the Setty property and will.
After Vanitha’s remarriage, Amruth appealed to the civil court in 2018, demanding that she cannot claim a share in the family property. However, the court rejected his application.
Later, Amruth opposed the verdict in the high court. He also challenged the court for imposing a fine of Rs 5000 on him and even for rejecting his re-adjudication of rights.
According to Amruth, after his mother’s second marriage and his father’s demise, there should have been a fresh adjudication regarding her share in the property.
Karnataka High Court’s Verdict
Justice Krishna S Dixit dismissed Amruth’s claim as the contention was not satisfactory.
“If unchastity or remarriage of a Hindu widower is not a ground to divest the property vested in him, it strikes at the root of law, at reason and justice to divest a Hindu widow of the property vested in her only because she has contracted a second marriage, especially when the Constitution of India mandates gender equality,” the judge observed in the order.
Rejecting the petition, the HC also cited other cases stating that the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 will now be followed, replacing the Hindu Widow’s Remarriage Act, 1856.
According to the Supreme Court’s order, Section 14 (1) stipulates that any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether before or after the commencement of the Act will be held by her a complete owner.