It was only in the Stridhan property that a female had a full right. But acquisitions by way of Stridhana property were by their very nature very limited. Property inherited by a woman which generally would be the main source for a woman, never could become her Stridhan property except in the Bombay School. The order of succession with respect to Stridhan property was also not uniform.
The order varied according as the intestate was married or unmarried; according as she was married in an approved or in an unapproved form: according to the source from which the Stridhan came. All the rules of descent varied from school to school. Therefore, Section 14 has been enacted in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, aiming at evolving a fairly uniform law for the entire country- with regard to the rights of the females.
So far as properties held by Hindu females are concerned, the first significant change that the Hindu Succession Act has made is that, to certain exceptions, those properties shall be regarded as their absolute property. The limited estate known as the Hindu Woman’s Estate is no longer a law. Section 14 of the Act provides that any property possessed by a female Hindu whether acquired before or after commencement of the Act, shall be held by her as its full owner and not as limited owner.
“Property” includes both movable and immovable property acquired by a female Hindu by inheritance or devise, at a partition, or in lieu of maintenance or arrears of maintenance, or by gift from any person before, at or after the marriage or by her own skill or exertion, or by purchase or by prescription, or in any other manner whatsoever, and also any such property held by her as Stridhan immediately before 17th June, 1956.
For further discussion on this subject please refer to Q. No. 134 Chapters X (Inheritance and Succession).
Before proceeding with other questions in this Chapter, it may be noted that in view of Section 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, other questions dealt with in this Chapter are of no importance so far as the present law with regard to the widow’s estate is concerned. But to comprehend fully and properly the subject matter of the past position with regard to the widow’s estate is not without any significance. Rests of the questions describe in brief the prior law on the subject which may be taken note of.