Panel to look into validity of married women’s bill

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Panel to look into validity of married women’s bill

Following opposition to the introduction of a bill which grants equal rights to a married woman in properties acquired by her husband, the state has decided to appoint a panel to review its provisions.

The panel, which will comprise officials from the state commission for women, has been asked to check the legal validity of the bill and review contentious provisions.

The state women and child development (WCD) department had planned to introduce the Matrimonial Property ( Rights of Women upon Marriage Act), 2012. Though the bill is still in the drafting stage, it has already triggered an intense debate. While the state law and judiciary department has asked the WCD department to examine if the bill’s provisions clashed with existing central and state legislations, the state minority department sought “exclusion of Muslim families” from the bill’s purview.

The draft bill proposes to “secure economic rights for married women to empower them”. It grants 50% rights to a wife in all “matrimonial properties”, which include all moveable and immoveable properties acquired by her husband, either jointly or individually. A woman’s separate property has been excluded from the notion of a joint property.

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