Explained: Do J&K women lose their right to share in ancestral property if they marry a non-state subject?
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J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was correct when he termed BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's assertion at a rally in Jammu Sunday — reflected through his comparison of Omar and his sister Sara who is married to Union Minister Sachin Pilot — about women state subjects of J&K losing their right to property upon marrying outside the state as either a lie or a case of Modi being "ill-informed".
But, like most issues in a political debate, there is something more than what either side has said. MANEESH CHHIBBER puts the issue in perspective.
Do J&K women lose their right to share in ancestral property if they marry a non-state subject?
The answer is no. This issue was settled in 2002 by a Full Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court headed by Justice V K Jhanji, which, after hearing the matter that was pending for over 26 years, ruled that J&K women marrying outsiders wouldn't lose their right to a share in ancestral property, right to work, education, inheritance and even adoption.
Which party was in power in the state when the matter was decided and what was the stand of the state government?
The state was being ruled by the NC and Farooq Abdullah, Omar's father, was the Chief Minister. During hearing in the HC, senior advocate M A Goni, who was Advocate General in the NC regime, told the Bench that a female descendant of a permanent resident of the state on marriage to a non-permanent resident of the state would lose the status of permanent resident and she would not be a permanent resident of the state as defined under Section 6 of the state Constitution.
He submitted that by marrying a non-permanent resident of the state, a female descendant of a permanent resident of the state "will not only lose the property which she may have acquired in the state before marriage as a permanent resident of the state but she would also lose all special rights and privileges like employment under the state government, right to scholarship or any other such privileges as the government may provide".