The Chhattisgarh High Court has ruled that a widow loses her right in the property inherited from her previous (dead) husband in case she marries again and the current marriage remains valid. However, the court ruled that if remarriage is set up as a defence, it has to be strictly proved looking at the devastating consequence to be befallen upon widow in the shape of depriving her right to property.” The verdict was pronounced by Justice Sanjay K Agrawal.
The case is related to a property suit wherein the woman’s previous husband Ghasi had died in 1942 leaving behind the wife and a daughter. Ghasi’s family argues that since the widowed wife remarried in 1954-55, she ceases to have any interest in the property. They argued that neither Ghasi’s widowed wife nor the daughter has any right over the property.
In a 17-page judgement, the HC ruled, “The effect of remarriage would be, widow loses her right in the property inherited from her husband and unless the fact of remarriage is strictly proved after observing the ceremonies required as per Section 6 of the Act of the Hindu Widows Remarriage Act 1856, the fact of remarriage cannot be said to be established by which the right to property, which is a constitutional right, is lost that too by widow.”
Earlier, a trial court had ruled that the widow had already entered into a second marriage and she would only be entitled to 5 khandi of land for maintenance. However, the first appellate Court had set aside the judgment and decree of the trial court.
In 2008, the Supreme Court had ruled that a widow who remarries cannot be deprived of a share in her dead husband’s property. Then, hearing a similar plea, a bench of Justices S B Sinha and B S Sirpurkar had said that a widow becomes an absolute owner of the deceased husband’s riches to the extent of her share as the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act 1956 would prevail over the earlier Hindu Widow’s Remarriage Act 1856.