Legal Guide

What are the Legal rights of a Daughter-in-law in India?

by Bhavya Choudhary · 3 min read

Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India

Introduction

  • From the very beginning, the Constitution of India has taken care of equal rights for both men and women. This perspective treats the right to equality as a fundamental right. 
  • Therefore, in the case of dividing the share of a property in India to a daughter and daughter-in-law, different laws are framed so that their rights are adequately governed, and they enjoy the rights in their realm, which includes the Legal ownership of a daughter-in-law in India.
  • Today, Women face all sorts of problems in India, be it female infanticide, marital rapes or child abuse to dowry deaths; the primary reason that our women are so dominated is the high illiteracy as most of the women are unaware of their rights which result in immense emotional, physical pain, daughter in laws are worst hit in our society. 
  • Considering this, today’s legislature has made various laws that state the Legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India.
  • Various Legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India have been framed considering the cruelty they faced and the injustice done to them by their in-laws; the mere objective of the Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India is to protect them from all such cruelty and injustice.

Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India

1.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to Streedhan

  • As per Hindu law, Streedhan refers to all movable, immovable property, gifts, etc., a woman receives during pre-marriage/marriage ceremonies and childbirth. 
  • The legal rights of daughter-in-law in India on such property vest with her, even if she places it in the custody of her husband or her in-laws. 
  • In case the mother-in-law dies without Will registration and at the time of death she possessed her daughter-in-law’s Streedhan, according to the Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India, she has the right to claim Stridhan and not the son or any other family member of mother-in-law. As a woman has inalienable rights over Streedhan 
  • The legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India provide her claim on her Stridhan even after being separated from her husband. She does not lose her legal right due to mere separation from her husband. 
  • Also, in case the husband or other family member denies giving Streedhan to the woman, it may amount to domestic violence, according to which her husband and family members may be liable to face criminal prosecutions.

2.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to live with dignity and self-respect

  • Every person, be it a woman or a man, has a fundamental right to be free of mental and physical torture; hence, a married woman has all the right to live her life with dignity. 
  • One must be well aware of the fact that under the Domestic Violence Act, a Legal right of a daughter-in-law in India is to make the husband execute a “bond of good behavior” or “bond to keep the peace,” according to which the court may order to put a stop to domestic violence and also a right to demand divorce based on domestic violence. 
  • For security, the husband may be asked to deposit guarantees in the form of property or money that might be transferred to his wife if he continues to act violently.

3.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to a committed relationship

  • In a committed relationship, a husband cannot be in a relationship with another woman unless he is separated from his wife using a divorce. 
  • This is the fundamental right of a married woman. And therefore, a married woman can charge her husband for adultery which may lead to a ground for divorce.  

4.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to parental property

  • According to the amendments made in the Hindu Succession Act, every daughter, whether unmarried or married, has a right to inherit the property of her father after his death; in case the father had died without Will registration, the daughter has equal Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to the property of her father as his son’s, not only this today the daughter even has right in her mother’s property.  
  • Also, according to the amendment daughter is considered the coparcener. Further, as per a Supreme court order, a father can nominate his married daughter to be legally entitled to her father’s cooperative society flat. One may approach legal consultation in such a case and know the Legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India.

5.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to Maintenance

  • Every person has a right to live a life of standard and decency. Therefore, a woman, after her marriage, can claim an average and decent living with the basic comforts of life with her husband. 
  • Even after separation, the husband cannot run away from his duties. Therefore, he is asked to provide essential maintenance to his wife and children, which may include the provision of clothing, food, medical treatment, and education. 

6.     Legal rights of daughter-in-law in India to the marital home

  • A matrimonial home or Marital home refers to the household that a woman shares with her husband, be it owned, rented, or officially provided by her husband.
  • According to the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, according to the Legal rights of a daughter-in-law in India, she has the right to reside in her matrimonial home even if she does not own it, irrespective of whether it is a joint family house, ancestral house, rented house or a self-acquired house.

Conclusion

  • Various instances have been reported in India where daughters-in-law have been deprived of their property rights, and many few women have an idea that the women of the house, too, have the right to claim a share in the property just as any other man; this is the legal rights of the daughter in law. 
  • Therefore, a daughter-in-law may have a legal consultation and knowledge of various Legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India before exercising their right. 
  • Also, in 2005, various amendments were made to the Hindu Succession Act, under which daughters and daughters-in-law were allowed equal rights as coparceners.
  • Also, the Supreme Court (SC), in a landmark judgment, ruled on the Legal rights of the daughter-in-law in India and that a daughter and daughter-in-law possess equal rights as coparceners under the Hindu Succession Act and that a daughter receives her coparcener rights by birth. Also, the daughter’s marriage does not affect her rights to coparcenary property.

Law comes to the rescue of those who do not sleep over their rights. A person must claim all the rights enshrined in various laws in India. One must consult a lawyer to know all the rights that a person may have.

Bhavya Choudhary

Written by

Bhavya Choudhary

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