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muslim personal law: Widow, daughter deprived of property after 45-year fight | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, the zealous protector of right to equality, approved the debarring of a widow and her daughter from inheriting ancestral property as per the Muslim Personal Law that gives succession rights only to descendants alive at the time of an ancestor’s death.
Ending a torturous 45year litigation that started in 1977 before a trial court, for division of one Mohiyuddin Pasha’s assets, a bench of Justices L N Rao and B R Gavai okayed a Muslim Personal Law-sanctioned scheme of division, which gave no share to Pasha’s elder son Rahaman Barid’s widow and daughter just because Rahaman had predeceasd Pasha.
Unlike Hindu Law, the estate of a deceased Muslim, if he has died intestate, devolves on his heirs at the moment of his death. Under the Muslim Personal Law, birth right is not recognised. The right of an heir apparent or presumptive comes into existence for the first time on the death of the ancestor, and he is not entitled until then to any interest in the property to which he would succeed as an heir if he survived the ancestor.
This is one of the many instances which would strengthen the case for Uniform Civil Code for equitable division of ancestral property among descendants without any gender bias. As per the Muslim Personal Law, a daughter is entitled to half the share of a son in ancestral property.
Pasha had married Noorbi and had two sons Rahaman and Azgar. Noorbi passed away in 1944. Pasha married Mazambi and had two sons and three daughters. Rahaman was married to Rahamathunnisa and had a daughter Noorjahan. Rahaman passed away in 1945. Pasha died in 1964. The widow of Rahaman and Mazambi and her children together sought division of Pasha’s property. The Kolar court gave some share to Noorjahan and divided the rest among Mazambi, her children and Azgar.
But on appeal, the Karnataka HC eliminated Rahamathunnisa and Noorjahan from the scheme as dictated by the Muslim Personal Law and this could become one of the instances where an UCC could have helped the two women. The SC approved the division authored by the HC, according to which Mazambi got 1/8th share of Pasha’s property, Azgar and two sons from Mazambi got 7/36th share each and the three daughters got 7/72nd share each.

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