Mary Roy v. The State of Kerala 1986 AIR 1011, 1986 SCR (1) 371

Mary Roy v. The State of Kerala 1986 AIR 1011, 1986 SCR (1) 371

MARY ROY v. THE STATE OF KERALA

 

 

Citation: 1986 AIR 1011, 1986 SCR (1) 371

Bench Composition:  P Bhagwati

No. of judges: 1

Acts Referred:

  • The Indian Succession Act (1925)
  • Constitution of India
  • The Travancore Act (1916)
  • The Cochin Christian Succession Act (1921)

Facts:

  • Mary Roy suffered harassment and humiliation at the hands of her own brothers who hired goondas to evacuate her from their father’s cottage in Ooty along with her children.
  • She refused to vacate as she did not have any other place to go.
  • The reason for this was demand of succession of the property by the Mary Roy.
  • Mary Roy was determined to give it a legal fight to restore her constitutional right to equality.

Issue:

  • Whether protection of its personal law against the constitutional guarantee allowed.
  • Which law shall be applicable for the succession?
  • Whether the decision of High Court should have retrospective effect.

Issue Answered  and The Judgement:

  • No religious groups, sect or denomination shall be allowed to claim protection of its own personal law against the constitutional guarantee of sexual equality.
  • This violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which lays down equality for everyone and hence, such discriminatory law should be declared invalid.
  • The law applicable to intestate succession among Christians of Travancore area of the State of Kerala was the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
  • This will be having Retrospective Effect from April 1, 1951.
  • A widow receives one-third of the total assets as her share of her husband’s property, and the remaining two-thirds are equally divided among the children of the deceased with no sex difference.
  • If a man dies without a wife and children, his property devolved on his father. In the absence of the father, his mother, brothers, and sisters receive an equal share.

 

 

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