Reform

Hindu women can be legal head of the family, Indian court rules

(DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

In a landmark decision, a New Delhi court has ruled that women can be the “karta” — meaning the legal head of a family, according to ancient Hindu customs — a position previously reserved for men only. The “karta” occupies the superior position in a family and takes full control over property, rituals and other family affairs.

The ruling came about after the daughter of a business family, whose father was the eldest of four brothers, had filed a lawsuit against one of her cousins who claimed that he was now the rightful karta. The high court justified its decision as the logical conclusion of a 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, which granted women equal inheritance rights, arguing that it was rather odd that “while females would have equal rights of inheritance in an HUF property, this right could nonetheless be curtailed when it comes to the management of the same”.

Read the full story at the Times of India.

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