Include ST women in Hindu Succession Act, DMK MP Wilson tells Union Government

He said that Section 2(2) of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act excludes women of Scheduled Tribes and that this had created a ‘wholly unjust situation’

Updated - March 19, 2023 08:45 pm IST

Published - March 19, 2023 08:06 pm IST - New Delhi

File photo of DMK Member of Parliament P. Wilson. Mr. Wilson wrote to the Union Government seeking that a notification be issued to ensure that women from the Scheduled Tribe community are included when applying provisions of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act.

File photo of DMK Member of Parliament P. Wilson. Mr. Wilson wrote to the Union Government seeking that a notification be issued to ensure that women from the Scheduled Tribe community are included when applying provisions of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

DMK Member of Parliament P. Wilson has written to the Union Government seeking that a notification be issued to ensure that women from the Scheduled Tribe community are included when applying provisions of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, which give daughters equal right to the inheritance of their father or the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).

He said that Section 2(2) of the Act excludes women of Scheduled Tribes and that this had created a “wholly unjust situation wherein the female members of the Scheduled Tribes alone are not legally entitled to an equal share in their father’s/HUF’s properties”.

In a letter sent to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda and Social Justice Minister Virendra Kumar on March 16, Mr. Wilson quoted the relevant section of the law as such, “Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribe within the meaning of Clause (25) of Article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.”

Mr. Wilson said that this section has an overriding effect on all the other provisions of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, adding the net effect of the provision was that ST women were being deprived of inheritance rights over their father’s or their HUF’s properties.

He said that the law had now evolved to an extent where any discrimination based on gender cannot be sustained as it is the anti-thesis of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. “The data shows that within Scheduled Tribes, women are a more disadvantageous group due to historic oppression and lack of access to education, employment and property,” he added.

He also said that while it is rare that the customs of a Scheduled Tribe give women the advantage, in these cases, the position of women should not be disturbed.

Mr. Wilson said that Section 2(2) already provided for the government to fix this by issuing a notification and requested that a notification be issued including ST women in the ambit of the Hindu Succession Act, except in cases where the customs of a particular ST give women the advantageous position.

“I hope and trust that you will bestow your favourable consideration to this issue, which is not partisan, but rather one we should all commonly further in the interests of our sisters from the Scheduled Tribe communities,” Mr. Wilson said.

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