The Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 which states ” All rights and interests which any widow may have in her deceased husband’s property shall upon her remarriage cease” has been repealed. Under the provisions of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, widows who choose to marry another man after the death of her husband do have a right on their deceased husband’s property. The Act put the widow in the place of her deceased husband, and the husband’s share and rights in the property vested into the hands of the widow upon the death of her husband. This Act widened the scope of rights of the Hindu widow but it also limited the widow to hold the husband’s property only during her life time after which the property will be reverted back to her husband’s heirs.
RIGHTS IN HER HUSBAND’S PROPERTY
A Hindu widow is at liberty to do whatever she wishes with the property of her deceased husband and is not accountable to anyone. The widow can carry on the business of his deceased husband and thus can purchase and resale all the immovable property which was purchased in the course of business by her.
ADOPTION OF A CHILD BY A WIDOW
According to Hindu Law the adoption by a Hindu widow done in accordance with the authority given to her by her deceased husband is considered valid and as adoption not to herself, but to her husband. By word or by writing a Hindu father can nominate a guardian for his children and can even exclude the mother from guardianship.
ALIENATION OF PROPERTY BY A WIDOW
There are certain conditions upon which the sale deed can be constructed by a Hindu widow of property held by her as heir of her husband. They are as stated under-
The husband did not leave sufficient property so as to meet the needs of the wife.
She had to borrow money to meet her necessities.
There were ancestral debts which were still unpaid.
The only way to pay off the debts were to sell a portion of the property.