The Supreme Court of India has, in two highly progressive recent judgement, supported the rights of women. Through its rulings, the Court struck blows against the feudal mentality and patriarchal mind-set of some members of society (who try and destroy the identity of their daughters and steal their property).

The two judgement are indicative of a changing India, where gender neutrality and the rights of women are the new normal. Society sometimes hesitates to support women who stand up for themselves (until they win!) but the apex court has provided guidance and a moral compass once again.

In one case, a woman in Jodhpur was being dispossessed of the house she lived in by her father, as the gentleman claimed it to be his self-acquired property. As is common, he wanted to give the property to his son, leaving nothing for his daughter (a single mother at that). The Supreme Court refused to consider his claims of it being a self-acquired property and ordered the father to buy his daughter a house where she and her children could live. It took a six-year legal fight, but Kaushalya finally found support for her rights in the Supreme Court of India.

[Read more about the case in an article in the Hindustan Times]

The Supreme Court ruled on another property matter where a brother was trying to take over his sister’s property. The Court held that a brother cannot claim right over property inherited by his sister from her husband because he is neither her heir nor her family. Brothers conveniently try and become “family” when they want a share of their sister’s property and ignore the women when they want to snatch their rights.

[Read more about the case in an article in the Hindustan Times]

The above cases are similar to Ratna Vira’s book, Daughter By Court Order, where the protagonist, Aranya, was a woman fighting against power, money, deceit, and treachery for her right to be recognised as a daughter. In Ratna’s book, the mother and brother try to take away the identity and inheritance rights of Aranya, supported by the mother’s brother, until they are stopped by the courts.

The two recent judgement of the Supreme Court should make patriarchal families who try and snatch the rights of their daughters pause and think … for the Honourable Judges have clearly indicated their mind.

This article has been first published in ratnavira.com

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Ratna Vira holds a masters degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as a masters in English Literature from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. She also holds an MBA. Ratna juggles her corporate career with her writing and love of art. Ratna has spoken at leading universities, international business schools, corporate occasions and been part of several panels.