Daughter’s Right to Karta Position: Landmark Judgment

Karta Position


This case explores whether a daughter, as the eldest member of a Mitakshara Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), can become the Karta (head) of the HUF following the 2005 amendment to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.


Family Background and Property Details

  • Property Ownership: Mr. D R Gupta, along with his sons, held a long-term lease on a residence in Delhi. This included movable assets and shares.
  • Death of Mr. D R Gupta: He passed away on 1st October 1971, leaving behind five sons and their families.

Succession and Role of Karta

  • Assumption of Karta Role: Following Mr. D R Gupta’s death, the eldest son, Mr. Kishan Mohan Gupta, became the Karta of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).
  • Change in Karta: After the demise of all five of D R Gupta’s sons, the eldest son of Mr. Kishan Gupta’s younger brother declared himself the new Karta of the HUF, being the eldest surviving member.
Karta Position

Issue at Hand: Eligibility of the First Born as Karta in HUF Property


  • The question revolves around whether the first-born member of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) can become the Karta, or head, of the family by their birth.

Key Points to Consider

  • Definition and Role of a Karta: The Karta is the eldest male member who manages the family and its assets. His responsibilities include making financial decisions and managing day-to-day affairs.
  • Legal Precedents and Gender Equality: Recent legal reforms and judgments have opened the possibility for females to assume roles traditionally held by males, including that of Karta.
  • Implications of Birth Order: Traditionally, the role of the Karta is not automatically assumed by the firstborn if they are not male, but modern interpretations might challenge this norm.

Additional Information

  • If there are specific cases or amendments in law that directly affect this issue, those should be highlighted to provide a clearer understanding of the current legal landscape.

Case Background and Plaintiff’s Entitlement

  • Plaintiff’s Eligibility: The plaintiff became entitled to the position of Karta upon the death of the previous Karta, as confirmed by documents from the Land and Building Department.
  • Legal Status: As the eldest co-parcener in the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), she was legally eligible to become the Karta, a role traditionally held by males.

Legal Framework and Gender Equality

  • Inheritance Rights: The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, particularly Section 6, supports gender-neutral inheritance rights. It does not restrict female co-parceners from managing HUF property.
  • 2005 Amendment Impact: The 2005 Amendment to the Hindu Succession Act reinforced this by granting coparcenary rights to women, ensuring they have equal rights as men. This amendment applies even if the father passed away before 2005, as stated by the court.

Court’s Role in Upholding Rights

  • Promoting Equality: The removal of barriers for female co-parceners to become Kartas is a significant step towards gender equality.
  • Safeguarding Rights: It is crucial for courts to actively protect the statutory provisions that support the inheritance rights of women.


The Supreme Court declared that a woman retains her right to her father’s share in the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property even after marriage, based on Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act of 1956. This decision confirms her status as the rightful leader of the family property.