Updated: Monday July 15, 2013/AlEthnien Ramadan 08, 1434/Somavara Asadha 24, 1935, at 07:03:08 PM

The Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act, 1937

ACT No. XVIII of 1937

(For Statement of Objects and Reasons, see Gazette of India, 1935, Pt. V, p. 131; and for Report of Select Committee, see ibid. 1937, Pt. V, p. 8.

The Act has been applied to the partially excluded areas of the Mymensingh district from the 28th September, 1939, see Notification No. 3325‑J, dated the 18th September, 1939 in the Calcutta Gazette, dated the 28th September 1939.

The Act has been applied to Baluchistan; see Gazette of India, 1938, Pt. I, p. 1371.
In the application of this Act to the N.‑W.F.P., Sind and the District of Sylhet, the term "Property" in the Act shall include and shall be deemed always to have included agricultural land subject to certain conditions, see the North West Frontier Province Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Extension to Agricultural Land) Act, 1942 (Governor's Act VI of 1942), s. 2, the Hindu Women's Rights to Property, (Sind Extension to Agricultural Land) Act, 1943 (Sind Act, 9 of 1943), s. 2, and the Assam Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Extent on to Agricultural Land) Act, 1943 (Assam Act 13 of 1943), s. 2, respectively.)

[14th April, 1937]

An Act to amend the Hindu Law governing Hindu Women's Rights to Property

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the Hindu Law to give better rights to women in respect of property ; It is hereby enacted as follows:‑--

1. Short title.‑(1) This Act may be called the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act, 1937.

(Subs. by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (21 of 1960), s. 3 and 2nd Sch. (with effect from the 14th October, 1955), for the original sub‑section (2), as amended by A. O., 1949 and the Repealing and Amending Act, 1940 (32 of 1940), s. 3 and Second Schedule)[(2) It extends to the whole of Pakistan.]

2. Application. Notwithstanding any rule of Hindu Law or custom to the contrary, the provisions of section 3 shall apply where a Hindu dies intestate leaving a widow.

3. Devolution of property. (Subs. by the Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Amdt) Act, 1938 (11 of 1938), s. 3, for the paragraph preceding the first proviso in sub‑section (1))[‑ (1) When a Hindu governed by the Dayabhag School of Hindu Law dies intestate leaving any property, and when a Hindu governed by any other school of Hindu Law or by customary law dies intestate leaving separate property, his widow, or if there is more than one widow all his widows together, shall, subject to the provisions of sub‑section (3), be entitled in respect of property in respect of which he dies intestate to the same share as a son :]

Provided that the widow of a predeceased son shall inherit in like manner as a son if there is no son surviving of such predeceased son, and shall inherit in like manner as a son's son if there is surviving a son or son's son of such predeceased son:---

Provided further that the same provision shall apply mutatis mutandis to the widow of a predeceased son of a predeceased son.

(2) When a Hindu governed by any school of Hindu Law other than the Dayabhag School or by customary law dies (The word "intestate" omitted, ibid.) having at the time of his death an interest in a Hindu joint family property, his widow shall, subject to the provisions of sub‑section (3), have in the property the same interest as he himself had.

(3) Any interest devolving on a Hindu widow under the provisions of this section shall be the limited interest known as a Hindu woman's estate, provided however that she shall have the same right of claiming partition as a male owner.

(4) The provisions of this section shall not apply to an estate which by a customary or other rule of succession (Ins. ibid.) [or by the terms of the grant applicable thereto] descends to a single heir or to any property to which the Succession Act, 1925, applies XXXIX of 1925.

4. Saving. Nothing in this Act shall apply to the property of any Hindu dying intestate before the commencement of this Act.

Meaning of expression “die intestate”. (Section 5 ins. by the Hindu Women's Rights to Property (Amdt.) Act, 1938 (11 of 1938), s. 4.)[For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed to die intestate in respect of all property of which he has not made a testamentary disposition which is capable of taking effect.]

 

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