Married woman fights for right to inherit agricultural land

March 15th, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by admin  

By Kanu Sarda
New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Rajbala cannot get a share of her father’s farm. The reason? She is married. The Delhi Land Reforms Act does not allow her to have a share of her father’s agricultural land. She approached the Delhi High Court, which has asked the central and Delhi governments for their response. According to The Delhi Land Reforms Act, a married woman cannot inherit the agricultural land of her parents.

Rajbala’s three brothers have inherited the agricultural property in Kapashera in rural Delhi.

Justice Sanjeev Khanna on Friday issued notices to the central government, Delhi government and the deputy commissioner, northwest, in Kanjhawala to file their replies by July 9.

“My father died in November 2006 leaving behind a piece of agricultural land in Kapashera. The names of my three brothers were included in the revenue records of the agricultural land, but that of my sister and mine were struck off stating that we are married and cannot inherit the property,” Rajbala told IANS.

Rajbala’s counsel Rakesh Prabhakar questioned the basis of the discrimination despite an amendment being made in Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act in 2005, which says women are entitled to a share of the property left by their parents, whether they are married or not.

“When the government amended the Delhi Land Reforms Act in 2005, why did it ignore a section of the amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, which includes agricultural land,” Prabhakar asked in court.

He said that Section 4 (2) of the Hindu Succession Act, which deals with succession in case of agricultural land, had been ignored in the Delhi Land Reforms Act.

“I want to set an example so that other woman denied their right to inherit ancestral agricultural property can come forward and fight for it. Though there is no provision in the law, we should fight for our rights and ask the government to make the necessary changes,” said Rajbala, hoping for a favourable reply on July 9, the next date of hearing.

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