Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat Law) has been challenged and it has been said that under it, Muslim women get half the share in family property compared to men. The petitioner said that this is a violation of Article-15 of the Constitution. Article-15 prohibits discrimination before law on grounds of caste, religion, sex etc. At the same time, the petitioner said that this law (Shariah) is a pre-constitutional legislation which comes under Article-13 (1) of the Constitution. The petitioner has said that under Section-2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937, giving half of the property to women as compared to men, i.e. not giving equal share, is not a violation of Article-15 and Article-13. ? Significantly, there is a provision in Article-13 that whatever laws were there before the constitution in India would be within the ambit of the constitution and if it violates the fundamental right then that law would be invalid.
What does the Succession Act say
Hindu Succession Act
Legal expert Murari Tiwari explains that the Hindu Succession Act 1956 is applicable to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Under this, if a Hindu (Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist) dies and has not willed his property, then the legal heirs to the property will be in this order. Under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the Class I heir will have the first right. If none of them are there then the class 2 heirs will have the right. Son, daughter, widowed mother, child of previously deceased son, child of previously deceased daughter and widow of son in class 1 heir or heir (whoever is there will get share of property equally).
Succession under Muslim Personal Law
Advocate Salim Ahmed Khan explains that succession related disputes are settled in Muslims under the Shariat Act 1937. Under Muslim personal law, there is a provision that the distribution of property or distribution of money takes place among the heirs determined under personal law. For example, if a person dies, the share of his son, daughter, widow and parents has been described in his property. There is a provision to give half of the son to the daughter. After the death of her husband, the widow is given one-sixth of the property. The stake has also been fixed for the parents.