My father died in 1985. My father and i had oral partition. Can my sisters claim on the house left by my father?

Q. The section 6 of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 is retrospective or prospective. My father died in 1985. My father and i had oral partition. Can my sisters claim on the house left by my father?

Section 6 of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 deals with devolution interest of coparcenary property in a Hindu joint family governed by Mitakshara Law. As per the amendment Act, 2005, daughter would become the coparcener in the family by birth as that of the son, and attains the same rights as of the son, and daughter is also subjected to the liabilities with respect to any coparcenary property as that of a son.  Section 6 given equal rights to the daughter in coparcenary property.  Provisions given under Section 6 that any disposition, alienation, partition or testamentary disposition of the property effected before 20.12.2004 not affected by this Section. Also, subsection 5 states that Section 6 is not applicable to partition executed before 20/12/2004. Explanation given that for the purpose of subsection 5, “partition” means any partition made by execution of a deed of partition duly registered under the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908) or partition effected by a decree of a court.

From the above description it is clear that the Section is intended to give prospective effect and not intended to be as retrospective one by means provisions given under each sub-clause of Section 6 that Section 6 would not affect the alienations, dispositions, partition or testamentary disposition taken before 20/12/2004.

Then coming to the next point, you have stated that you and your father had a oral partition of the house left by your father and your father died in 1985.  You have your sisters.  Since the partition was oral partition between you and your father, the rights of your sisters to claim the share in the house property not affected.  Section 6 literally means executed and registered partition deed.  As per Section 6, your sisters automatically became the coparcenaries in your family by birth and are entitled to equal share as that of you as a son, in your father’s property. Therefore, your sisters have the right to claim their share in the house of your father’s property.

By Anitha Gutti