Various court rulings have maintained that be it, girl or boy, they have equal rights on their ancestral properties. However, the matter gets complicated when Muslim laws enter the scene. Taking into consideration Mohammedan laws, an Ahmedabad court dismissed a plea filed by three Hindu daughters claiming share from the retirement benefits after their death. The woman got a job on compassionate grounds after her husband’s death as she was pregnant at that time besides having two daughters. Since she did not live with the in-laws, her paternal family took care of the three daughters.
The woman later married a Muslim man and converted to Islam. She had a son from the second marriage. Before the woman died in 2009, she named her son as her nominee. The court noted that her Hindu children cannot be her successors according to Mohammedan laws. The local court also held the woman’s Muslim son was her Class I heir and rightful successor as per the Mohammedan laws, said reports.
After their mother’s death, the three daughters filed a suit claiming their share from their mother’s provident fund, gratuity, insurance, leave encashment and other benefits as they contended before the court that being biological daughters, they are Class I heirs.
According to the reports, the Ahmedabad court rejected the daughters’ appeal considering the aspects of the principle of estoppel. It also took into consideration material evidence like a notarized affidavit of conversion to Islam, her marriage registration and the entry of the nominee in her service records.
The court noted that if the deceased was Muslim, her Class I heirs cannot be Hindus. Since the mother converted to Islam at a later stage and the daughters are Hindu, the daughters despite being heirs, are not entitled to inheritance.
The court also noted that as per Hindu inheritance laws, Hindu daughters are not entitled to any rights from their Muslim mothers.