MARY ROY v. THE STATE OF KERALA
Citation: 1986 AIR 1011, 1986 SCR (1) 371
Bench Composition: P Bhagwati
No. of judges: 1
- The Indian Succession Act (1925)
- Constitution of India
- The Travancore Act (1916)
- The Cochin Christian Succession Act (1921)
- 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.
- 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.