Living the life of a widow is extremely painful and the pain becomes unbearable when the widow is deprived of her property rights after the husband’s demise. This article is aimed at empowering and informing women across India about the property rights of widows of NRIs men.
Understanding the Widow’s Remarriage Act in India:
Before 1937, there weren’t any specific laws dealing with the property rights of Indian widows. Any legal disputes that cropped up were resolved as per the traditional practices.
Nevertheless, things changed as the time went by and The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act was formed in 1856. According to Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act,1856, the property rights of the widow after the demise of her NRI husband would cease when she remarried.
In Section 2 of the law, it is stated that all the privileges as well as interests that a widow has in the property of her departed NRI husband by any way of upkeep, or to his lineal heirs, or even by inheritance to her spouse, or attested disposition conferring upon her, or by means of any legal Will, without expressing permission to remarry, only a restricted interest in this kind of property, without any authority of alienating the same, will upon her remarriage terminate and identify as though she had then passed away; and the subsequent successors of her departed husband or other people eligible for the assets after her demise, will then succeed to the same.
This act was discarded after many years, which led to the formation of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This act offered Indian widows all the property rights even after they remarried.
Here are a few additional important points from the Remarriage Act in India:
- The widow of the NRI spouse who died intestate, or in case there are more than one widows of the NRI husband, collectively all widows shall get one share.
- With regards to the legal heirs of the pre-deceased son, his widow(s), living daughter(s), and son(s) would get equal divisions. Additionally, the branch of his pre-deceased sons would receive the same share.
- In case, the ‘late’ NRI husband also has any lineal successors left, then 1/3rd of the assets would be given to his widow(s), and the remaining 2/3rd would be divided amongst his lineal successors.
- In case, there is no one kindred to the late husband; the whole property would be given to his widow.