A landmark decision for providing equal rights in property to daughters in Himachal

The initiative towards promoting gender equality by carrying out amendment in 51-year-old legislation ‘Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act of 1972’ is a landmark decision for providing equitable rights in landholding to the adult daughter (married and unmarried). As per the amendment, the adult daughter will be permitted to have a separate independent unit up to 150 bighas of land.  The State Government has rectified the error by inserting the words, “or daughter” after the word “son” in sub-section 4 of section 4 of the existing Act.

The bill includes the daughter at par with the son as a separate independent unit.  Earlier, the Act allowed an adult son to have an additional 150 bighas of land while denying the same right to an adult daughter. As a result, families with adult daughter will have the same land rights as those with adult son, totaling up to 300 bighas of land.

The Bill the ‘Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Act, 2023 which was introduced in the State Assembly on 29th March 2023 by Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and passed on 3rd April 2023, aims to ensure gender equality, for both sons and daughter when it comes to own an independent unit.

The Bill paves the way to remove gender discrimination in line with the provisions of the Indian Constitution. The Chief Minister himself took a special interest in this regard and was keen to introduce the amendment Bill in the current budget session of the state Vidhan Sabha.  Amendment in the Act is aimed to provide relief to lakhs of families in the State having daughters, as it would enable their daughter to have an additional unit of 150 bighas of land. The move has been widely welcomed by all sections of society as a positive step towards empowering women in the state.

“By making the necessary amendment, the State Government is providing succor to lakh of families in the State having daughters. This amendment aims to ensure that families with daughters have equal rights in land ownership, removing the unconstitutional clause that promotes gender inequality,” Chief Minister said.

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