Historic! Bangladesh court rules Hindu widows entitled to share in husbands’ properties

Marking a first, Bangladesh top court has ruled on September  2 that the Hindu widows will have the rights to agricultural and non-agricultural lands of their deceased husbands. According to media reports, Bangladesh High Court ruled in favor of Hindu widows and changed the current norm that stated that the Hindu widows in the nation only have the right to their husbands’ homesteads leaving out other assets like agricultural lands. 

The Daily Star reported the court ruling saying that the Hindu widows will have all the rights that they can sell in case of legal necessities later in life. This verdict by the Bangladesh High Court came in response to a civil revision petition filed by a citizen Jyotindranath Mondal from Khulna district challenging a lower court verdict.

“Hindu widows will have the rights to both agricultural and non-agricultural lands that belonged to their husbands. They will also get the right to sell the lands for legal necessities during their lifetime,” the report said, citing the court order.

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Mondal’s case of 1996

Back on March 7, 2004, the Khulana’s joint district judge had ruled in a case filed by Mondal saying that Gouri Dasi, the widow of Mondal’s elder brother will get the rights to the agricultural land of the late husband. The land had been recorded in the name of Gouri after her husband died in 1996. Mondal had filed the case challenging the record that gave the rights of agricultural land to the widow in 1996 with the court of an assistant judge in Khulna. 

Meanwhile, in India, as per the Indian Succession Act that came into operation on September 30, 1925, the property distribution is mainly divided into two parts intestate succession, and testamentary succession. While Intestate succession takes place according to the law of inheritance applicable to the deceased person (based on religion) and Testamentary succession takes place when the deceased person has created a Will.

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(With PTI inputs)

Image: representative/Unsplash

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