STREEDHAN PROPERTIES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     1st May 2024        

Context: The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that stridhan remains the "absolute property" of a woman, emphasizing that husbands hold no authority over it.

Streedhan Properties

  • Definition: Streedhan properties encompass gifts bestowed upon a woman before, during, or after marriage, inclusive of assets received at the time of bidding farewell.
  • Essentials: It constitutes all movable and immovable assets, including gifts, acquired by the woman throughout her life, covering periods such as pre-marriage, marriage, childbirth, and widowhood.
  • Stridhan Nature: Streedhan is endowed voluntarily to the woman, devoid of any coercion or undue influence, ensuring her absolute ownership.
  • Breakdown of Marriage: In the event of marital dissolution, the woman retains the right to reclaim her Streedhan assets.
  • Legality: The act of endowing Streedhan is legally recognized, offering protection to the woman's ownership rights.
  • Governing Act: Streedhan properties are governed by the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, safeguarding women's inheritance and property rights.

Legal Judgments on Stridhan Property

  • Family Court Decision: The Family Court, in 2011, ruled in favor of the appellant, finding that the husband and his mother misappropriated her gold jewellery.
  • Kerala High Court's Intervention: The Kerala High Court, however, partially overturned the Family Court's decision, stating that the woman failed to prove the misappropriation of gold jewellery by the husband and his mother.
  • Judicial Interpretation: Justices emphasized that 'stridhan' property remains the absolute property of the wife and doesn't become joint property with the husband.