Can a Female Member of the Family Run HUF (Hindu Undivided F

CA Shree Jain (Chartered Accountant) (1572 Points)

28 June 2010  

The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 has amended Sec.6 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956, mainly to give the same rights and privileges to daughters (Female members) as was enjoyed by the sons of the family. After amendment it is very well possible for a HUF to consist only of female members say a daughter of a Hindu Family along with her mother. There is no bar on this.

In a joint Hindu Family governed by the Mitakshara law the daughter of a coparcener shall,

  • by birth become a coparcener in her own right in the same manner as the son;
  • have the same rights in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she had been son;
  • be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcenary property as that of a son, and any reference to a coparcener shall be deemed to include a reference to a daughter of a coparcener.

Even before this succession act came into force, an HUF could be constituted by only females in certain circumstances and moreover, even if the HUF had a male member, a female could become a Karta! The following are two citations that are relevant to the subject.

CIT v RMARAR Veerappa Chettian (70) 76ITR467 (SC)

When an existing HUF is reduced to only female members, it can still continue as a HUF. This is in view of the existence of the potential coparcenary as any widow can induct a coparcener into the family by adoption.

Champa Kumar Singhi v Revenu (1962) 46ITR 81 (CAL)

“To start with, it cannot be denied that a Hindu female cannot be a coparcener under the Hindu law. But for the purpose of the Indian Income-tax Act, we are not concerned with the Hindu coparcenery, as has been clearly pointed out by the Judicial Committee. What we are concerned with is a Hindu undivided family. A female can be a member of a Hindu undivided family, which may even consist entirely of females. Where, however, the male members are all minors, and of whom the natural guardian is their mother, I find nothing in the Indian Income-tax Act to prevent her from representing a Hindu undivided family for the purposes of assessment under the said Act. In such a case, we should not confuse the term manager as used for purposes of the Act with the term karta as used in Hindu law. The word Karta is a technical term of the Hindu law…. But, where in a Hindu undivided family there exists no karta, or where the male members are all males at all, there seems to be no legal bar to a female acting as manager representing a Hindu undivided family for purposes of assessment of income-tax.”