When someone makes mention of ‘karta’ in the context of an Indian family, he invariably thinks of a male member. That has just been changed in a landmark ruling by the Delhi High court this week.
The Delhi high court has ruled in a landmark verdict that the eldest female member of a family can be its “Karta”. “Karta” a unique position carved out by Hindu customs and ancient texts, denotes managership of a joint family and has traditionally been inherited by men.
“If a male member of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), by virtue of his being the first born eldest, can be a Karta, so can a female member. The court finds no restriction in law preventing the eldest female co-parcenor of an HUF from being its Karta,” Justice Najmi Waziri said in this unique judgment made public earlier this week.
The Karta occupies a position superior to that of other members of HUF and has full authority to manage property, rituals or other crucial affairs of the family. These include taking decisions on sale and purchase of family assets, mutation of property, etc.
The ruling came on a suit filed by the eldest daughter of a Delhi based business family staking claim to be its Karta on the passing away of her father and three uncles. The eldest son of a younger brother declared himself to be the next Karta but was challenged by the daughter of the eldest brother who is also the senior most member of the family.
In the court order, Justice Waziri said that the “law gave equal rights of inheritance to Hindu males and females, its objective is to recognise the rights of female Hindus and to enhance their rights to equality apropos succession.”
Source: – Times of India