The Supreme Court has ruled that a daughter can inherit self-acquired property or a share received in the partition of her Hindu father's coparcenary property if he dies intestate. In this case, the property in question was admittedly Marappa Gounder's self-acquired property. The appellant's question was whether Late Gounder's single surviving daughter, Kupayee Ammal, would inherit the property by inheritance and not by survivorship. The Court was debating whether a solitary daughter may receive her father's separate property in the event he died intestate.
To address this issue, the Apex Court bench cited customary Hindu law as well as judicial pronouncements, noting that a widow or daughter's right to inherit self-acquired property or a share received in the partition of a coparcenary property of a Hindu male dying intestate is well recognized not only under old customary Hindu law but also in various judicial pronouncements:
The court decided that such property would devolve through inheritance rather than survivorship upon the father's death. On the other hand, the court pointed out that the inherited property of a female Hindu who dies intestate, or without a will, returns to the source.
Despite the family being in a state of jointness when Marappa Gounder died intestate, the court stated that the property in question was admittedly Marappa Gounder's self-acquired property. As a result, his single surviving daughter, Kupayee Ammal, will acquire the land through inheritance, rather than by survivorship, the panel said in granting the appeal.
“If a female Hindu dies intestate without leaving any issue, then the property inherited by her from her father or mother would go to the heirs of her father whereas the property inherited from her husband or father-in-law would go to the heirs of the husband,” the court said.
According to the report, there were differing viewpoints on the property's inheritance after the daughter's death. The court, however, stated that the difference of opinion may not be relevant in this case because the woman in question, Kupayee Ammal, died after the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was passed. According to the court, the 1956 Act applies in this case, and Ramasamy Gounder's daughters, as Class-I heirs of their father, are also heirs and entitled to a portion in the suit properties.