Summary of Landmark judgment

Case: Vineeta Sharma v. Rakesh Sharma

Date of Order / Judgment: 11th August, 2020

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice Arun Mishra, Justice M. R. Shah and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer


In the case in hand, Vineeta Sharma, the Plaintiff/Appellant, had filed a suit claiming her share of ancestral property against her family members including her brother Rakesh Sharma. She contended that since her father, Mr. Dev Dutt Sharma had died intestate, she could have the right over the property among other heirs. According to Vineeta Sharma, as the property was not included in HUF, she is entitled to the 1/4 th of her father’s property.

In this case, the Delhi High Court held that since the appellant’s father died on 11 th December, 1999, before the commencement of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, did not benefit the appellant. Aggrieved by this decision, the Plaintiff filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.


  • 1. Whether the daughter can claim her coparcenary rights (according to the 2005 Amendment) after the death of her father?
  • 2. Whether the nature of the Act is retrospective, prospective or retroactive?


The Supreme Court observed that “It is not necessary to form a coparcenary or to become a coparcener that a predecessor coparcener should be alive; relevant is birth within degrees of coparcenary to which it extends… In substituted Section 6, the expression daughter of a living coparcener has not been used. Right is given under Section 6(1)(a) to the daughter by birth. Declaration of right based on the past event was made on 9.9.2005 and as provided in Section 6(1(b), daughters by their birth, have the same rights in the coparcenary, and they are subject to the same liabilities as provided in Section 6(1)(c). Any reference to the coparcener shall include a reference to the daughter of a coparcener. The provisions of Section 6(1) leave no room to entertain the proposition that coparcener should be living on 9.9.2005 through whom the daughter is claiming.”


The Supreme Court held that the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 will have a retrospective effect and daughters who were born before or after the amendment shall be deemed to be the coparceners in the ancestral property.