'Gender equality in property rights took time'

Former judge C Rangavittalachar, on Saturday, said, despite bringing several amendments to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, it took time to ensure gender equality in property rights.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Hindu Succession Act, 1956’, organised by the Law Academy of the State Bar Council in association with the Mysore Bar Association at the Law Court’s complex, in the city, Rangavittalachar said, however, the only solace is people are enforcing the law related to the Act on their own volition, while the government constitutes enforcement authority to execute the Acts in most of the cases.

Delineating on the succession practices in India and other countries, Rangavittalachar said, “India is a patriarchal country, while Egypt is matriarchal, with daughters inheriting mothers assets”.

Rangavittalachar said, the Act in India ensures solution for property sharing, family relationship, marriage and adoption of children. However, it took some time to ensure gender equality.

Tracing the concept of Succession Act to Vedas, Rangavittalachar said, “It has nearly 4,500-year history, making it the oldest ever in any country. It grew since the times of Kautilya and the instances of bringing amendments to it is rare. Such is the beauty of the Act, described Rangavittalachar.

The Act got clarity during the time of Mithakshara in the ninth century. He framed policies to be followed in the sharing of ancestral properties and also the right to property by birth, involving children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Lauding the concern of Wadiyars — the erstwhile rulers of Mysuru — towards maintaining an order in a family, Rangavittalachar said: “Wadiyars introduced the Hindu Act in 1933, restricted for the dynasty. However in 1937, the then British government brought an amendment to it”.

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