Nov 19, 2020

Feminist movements have addressed 'male-stream' thinking in manners that have struck at oppressive business as usual in legislative issues, society just as the financial circle. This venture is associated with the legitimate elements of the adjustments in the monetary circle of those progressions and explicitly in the territory of ladies' property rights. Such changes have not been simple and have included discussions that have tested the very premise of women's liberation itself. The 'sexual orientation fairness v. sex distinction' or 'formal balance v. meaningful uniformity' banters in women's activist hypothesis are instances of contentious issues that have struck at the endeavours of the law to change the lawful status of ladies. For instance, would simply giving girls the equivalent coparcenaries rights as her siblings consider that at some level the requirements of people might be extraordinary, as the 'distinction' side accepts? Or on the other hand, would giving a widow a similar quantum of coparcenaries property as her children make her life any better than previously.

Pious obligation means the moral liability of sons to pay for or discharge their father's non-avyavaharik debts. The debts borrowed may not be of legal necessity or for the benefit of the estate. Thus, if the father is the Karta of the family, he may alienate the coparceners property for discharging the antecedent debts. The sons are under the obligation to recover such alienated property by repaying the debts.

In Indian Constitutional Law, exceptions to the "Equality and Equal protection Clause (Article 14 of the Constitution of India)" are analyzed with the Doctrine of Reasonable Classification. The doctrine which is a juristic tool allows for certain exceptions to a strict rule of equality if two conditions are satisfied namely (a) the classes created have been based on some intelligible differentia (b) the classification bears a rational nexus to the object of the classification.

Further support for this argument can be drawn from Section 12 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 which severs for the adoptive child (from the date of adoption) all legal links with his natal family and associates him with only his adopted family. However, Prof. Sivaramayya disagrees, arguing that the section does not intend to give coparcenary rights to an adoptive daughter because of the emphasis on “by birth”. Without going into the substance of his argument, it may be questioned on the count that one must not assume that the opinion of the legislature must in all cases be given effect if it results in some absurdity or clear injustice. Judicial review of a number legislative acts have proceeded on the ground of ensuring some higher values, either intended by the legislature (but not reflected in the wording of the enactment itself) or contrary to the opinion of the legislature itself.

The history of the pious obligation of daughters can be laid back to 1924 when the Privy Council first heard the case of such type of obligation of daughters towards their deceased father. In the case of Pondicherry Kokilambal vs Pondicherry Sundari Ammal and Ors. On 25/7/1924 it was observed by the Privy Council:

"The entire law of the joint family, including right by birth,' has to be applied, the only difference being that the daughters took the place of sons and are entitled to such rights, as the sons would have in a joint family. If this view is correct, the position will be that the plaintiff would have all the rights and liabilities of sons in a joint family. Suppose you concede the right by birth and apply the law of the ordinary Mitakshara joint family. In that case, you must also concede pious obligation of the daughter to discharge her mother's debts".

From the cases reported in Chalakonda Alasani v. Chalakonda Ratnachalam, Kamakshi v. Nagarathnam, Boologam v. Swornam, and Venku v. Mahalinga, that there can be a coparcenary of moving young ladies, with privileges of survivorship. There is anyway no case which goes to the length of saying that girls of moving young ladies gain by birth an enthusiasm for the genealogical property; however, Mr Guruswami Chetty fights that once you award a coparcenary, directly by birth is a vital end product and that there can be no coparcenary without-directly by birth procured by coparceners Mr Radhakrishnayya depends upon Niras Purbe v. Tetri Pasin and Sant Singh v. Lachhmi to show that in such cases you need to apply the law of utilization and that the girls acquire the property completely as stridhan.

In another case of  Income-Tax Officer vs K. Krishnamachari it was held that the daughters have no pious obligation to repay the debt of her father. For this situation, the Deceased, A. Radhakrishnamurthy, passed on deserting two girls, a few properties just as obligations. Honestly, he kicked the bucket intestate. Following his demise, his girls being his Class I beneficiaries acquired his properties with the commitment to release the obligations due from him. Dissimilar to on account of the children, the girls have no devout commitment to pay the obligations of their dad. The important result of this position is that the girls would be at risk to release the obligations of the dad just to the degree of the estimation of the advantages acquired by them through their dad. There is no doubt of any agent managing the bequest of the expired. The topic of an agent directing the home of a perished individual would emerge just if such an agent were selected by the particulars of a will abandoned by the expired by which the deceased benefactor appointed the agent to assume control over his properties, manage them and to release the obligations due from him.

As per Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, after the amendment, the daughters shall have the same rights and liabilities as if she would have been a son. Therefore, the pious obligation has been deleted after the Amendment Act of 2005. Still, the liability to pay the debt of the deceased father will be the same upon daughters as they would be on sons before the commencement of the 2005 amendment Act. Therefore the rights of the creditors will be preserved if the debt was taken before the commencement of this amendment.

But at the same time now the creditors cannot move against any heirs of the deceased father if the father died without paying back the debts of the creditors. But if however such an heir has expressly to bind himself to fulfil the obligation, the provision will become redundant and inoperative. Since the commencement of this amendment, the creditors' rights are preserved against any heir born after the said Act was passed.

If the daughter expressly agrees to give back the debt of her father, then she can do it as per the guidelines under the amended section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act.