Landmark Supreme Court Judgement Upholds Women’s Property Rights Even After Marriage
The past few years have taken my respect for the judicial system of our country higher by several notches. Ruling after ruling has made it all too clear that the courts are helping society evolve towards gender equality.
First there was the Supreme Court judgement in July 2015 allowing unwed mothers to become the sole guardian of the child. This was followed by the Bombay High Court ruling in July 2016 asking married women to share the responsibility of their parents’ upkeep. Now, in February 2017, we have a judgement that allows a woman who holds property to maintain her right to the property even after marriage.
What was the case?
The case here revolved around Ms. Nidhi Vs. Ram Kripal Sharma. Nidhi was the landlady of the premises occupied by Ram Kripal Sharma and they were both already in a dispute over the possession of the property. During the course of the court proceedings, Nidhi got married, and thus it was contested by the tenant that she no longer ‘needed’ the property as she was well settled with her husband.
In a fair judgement, the Honourable Supreme Court overruled the ruling of the High Court and passed a judgement stating that the event of marriage does not end a landlady’s claim to the possession of the premises. She is legally allowed to accommodate her parents and grandparents in those premises so that they don’t face any hardship.
What it means for women?
This is a great judgement in favour of women as it banishes the popular belief that after marriage, we daughters do not have any ‘need’ to look after our parents.
This also means that any property owned by a woman, irrespective of her marital status, can be used by her at all times, and she can choose to use it in any way she wants to.
The most important part of this judgement is that it steers clear of gender-defined roles and looks at the situation without any prejudices.
Society is evolving and it is heartening to see our judiciary leading the way.
Written by Ruchi Ranjan