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What changes were introduced by the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005?

The Hindu Succession Amendment Act was passed in the year 2005. The significant changes brought by this Act are (i) Sec. 4(2) of the principal Act. The principal Act had the provision that the Act shall not effect the provision of any law that provides for prevention of fragmentation of agricultural holdings or the fixations of ceilings or devolution of the tenancy rights inspite of such holdings. (ii) Sec.6 of the principal Act deals with the devolution of the interest of the female coparcener and rule of survivourship is recasted and modified. From the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act of 2005, with reference to the Mithakshara Law, the daughter becomes the coparcener by birth and has all the rights in the same manner as the son. She has rights and liabilities as that of the son. However this section will not affect any disposition or alienation or partition or and testamentary disposition of property that has taken place before 20th December 2004. The share should be allotted to the pre-deceased son or the pre-deceased daughter as they would have got if they had been alive. Similarly the share of the pre-deceased child or a pre-deceased son or pre-deceased daughter, as such child would have got if he or she had been alive at time of partition should allotted the same proportional share in the property. Thus a complete justice was done to daughter in the coparcenary property.

(iii) If a debt is contracted by the father in the coparcenary property, then the survivors of the coparcener should repay the debt. This is called as the Doctrine of Pious and obligation. The Doctrine of Pious and obligation has been abrogated from Sec. 6(4). However this provision is not attracted if the debt has been contracted before the commencement of this Amendment Act. This amendment Act is not applicable to the partitions that has taken place before the 20th December 2004.

(iv) Sec. 23 has now been omitted under the Amendment Act. It is removed because this section does not a female heir to seek partition of a dwelling house until the male heirs choose to divide.

(v) Sec. 24 has now been omitted under the Amendment Act. The pre-existing Act of Sec. 24 provided that any heir who is related to an intestate as the widow of the pre-deceased son or the widow of a brother shall not be entitled to succeed to the property of intestate of such widow, if on the date the succession opens, she

is remarried.