Previously, there had been a lot of disputes and doubts regarding the coparcenary right in the Hindu Succession Act which was amended in the year 2005. But this confusion was solved in this particular case of Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma. The judgment, in this case, solved the confusion regarding the coparcenary rights of the ancestral property in the entire Hindu community including Buddhist, Jaina, Sikh. In the year 2005, an amendment was made in the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act 1956. Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act was amended as stated above in the year 2005, it stated about the devolution of interest in coparcenary property. Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005, states that on and from the commencement of this amendment, in a Joint Hindu Family which is governed by the Mitakshara law system the daughter of a coparcener shall have the right in the same manner as a son would have in the family. The daughter would have such right since the time of birth, and she would also be subjected to the same liabilities as of a son. The other subsections to Section 6 of this Act started about the female Hindu would be allotted the same share as it is allowed to a son.
The question that was arising after the amendment was whether the rights of the daughter would be there if her father was not alive on the date on commencement of the amendment I.e. the 9th of September 2005. People had a lot of doubt regarding the nature of this provision if it was perspective in nature or retrospective or retroactive. Similar questions were rising in several cases, some of them are:
It was observed in the case of 2016 in Lokmant and others v Mahadevamma and others that the High Court held that Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005, is retrospective in nature and the effect of this provision would be from 17th July 1956. However, in the case of Prakash v Phulavati case, a division bench held that Section 6 is not retrospective. It held that both the father I.e. the coparcener and the daughter should be alive on the date of commencement of the Amendment Act I.e. 9.9.2005. But in Danamma case, the Court held that the amended provision of Section 6 confers full rights upon the daughter coparcener. Even if the father is not on the date of commencement of this Act, the daughter can claim her rights. Now this judgment was being contrary to the judgment that was passed in the Phulavati case. People found it confusing in dealing with section 6 of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act of 2005. A similar question arose in the case of Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma.
The detention that was put forward by the learned Solicitor General of India Shri Tushar Mehta on behalf of Union of India was that the rights were given to the daughter to eradicate the inequality among son and daughter. He further stated that this Amendment Act 2005 is retroactive in operation because it allows the daughter to exercise their coparcenary rights and as it is mentioned in the provision itself that the daughter has the since birth, coparcenary is the birthright. He also stated that in the decision of Prakash v Phulavati case, the decision fails to support that the coparcenary rights are by birth. He also states that the term daughter in Section 6 does not imply the daughter of a living coparcener.
Shri R Venkataramani learned counsel stated that the amendment is prospective. According to him, the is the daughter is treated as a coparcener under the Amendment Act and not because of the daughter's prior birth to the amendment. He also states that if the daughter is treated as a coparcener at any point in time in the past before the amendment the same will bring in enormous uncertainty in the working of the law. He further added that the scheme of Section 6 is forward-looking and the interpretation has to be also done in such a manner.
Shri V.V.S. Rao stated that Section 6(1)(a) and (c) deals with the effect of inclusion of the daughter as a coparcener. The words mentioned in the provision shall have the same rights means that the inclusion of such coparcenary daughters after the amendment.
Shri Amit Pai learned counsel stated that the decision in Prakash v Phulavati case can't be held correct. He argued that Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act 2005 contains All the daughters of coparcener irrespective of the status of alive or dead.
The honourable Supreme Court started looking into the facts of the case and also referred to the previous cases. The Court also referred to the detentions put forwarded by the various learned counsel. They also referred to the Mitakshara law system, a joint family system of Hindus. Finally, a three-judge bench gave the verdict. The three judges where Justice S Abdul, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah. They gave the verdict that the amendment had a retroactive effect. The rights that were given to the daughter regarding the coparcenary property would be there with them irrespective of the fact that the father is alive or not. This right is given to them since birth thus it will have the same effect as a son would have.