Since a very long time, women and their needs have been ignored in this male-dominant society. Things are even worse when a woman’s husband dies, and she becomes a widow. The pain that a woman goes through when she loses her NRI husband cannot be explained in word. But then we, as a society, must stand together and decide specific steps we can take for the betterment of Indian widows. If a woman is living in a joint family, the major challenge faced by her is when she has to fight for her legal rights in the property that was in her NRI husband’s name. This article is aimed at empowering and informing women across India about the property rights of widows of NRI men:

Understanding the Widow’s Remarriage Act in India:

Before 1937, there weren’t any particular laws dealing with the rights of Indian widows. Any legal disputes that cropped up were resolved as per the conventional practices.

Nevertheless, things changed as the time went by and The Hindu Widows’ Remarriage Act was formed in 1856. According to this act, the property rights of the widow after the demise of her NRI husband would cease when she remarried. In Section 2 of the law, it is stated that all the privileges as well as interests that a widow has in the property of her departed NRI husband by any way of upkeep, or to his lineal heirs, or even by inheritance to her spouse, or attested disposition conferring upon her, or by means of any legal Will, without expressing permission to remarry, only a restricted interest in this kind of property, without any authority of alienating the same, will upon her remarriage terminate and identify as though she had then passed away; and the subsequent successors of her departed husband or other people eligible for the assets after her demise, will then succeed to the same.

This act was discarded after many years, which led to the formation of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This act offered Indian widows all the property rights even after they remarried.

Listed below are some of the crucial verdicts related to the rights of Indian widows on the property of her ‘late’ NRI husband:

  • A critical judgment was passed by Delhi High Court on March 5, 2017, wherein they declared that the widow had all the rights to reap the benefits of the property bought by her husband in her name the way she prefers to, and her son-in-law or her daughter are strictly prohibited from laying any kind of claim over it. The honorable court ruled this verdict in favor of an old woman aged 65 years, whose daughter and son-in-law denied to vacate a part of the home that she acquired from her late NRI husband in Punjab. The court asserted that the house was bought by the husband to present a safe and sound life to his wife.
  • Also, there was another judgment that was passed by the High Court of Mumbai wherein a widow was allowed to keep her rights on the property of her late husband, even after getting remarried. The verdict was given when the brother of the demised person alleged that the widow of his brother should not be allowed any right on the property as she got remarried. However, the honorable court ruled that the wife is classified as the Class-I legal heir of the late husband and therefore had all the rights of property inheritance in India.

Here are a few additional vital points from the Remarriage Act in India:

  • The widow of the NRI husband who died intestate, or in case there are more than one widows of the NRI husband, all widows collectively shall take one share.
  • With regards to the legal heirs of the pre-deceased son, his widow(s), living daughter(s), and son(s) would get equal portions. Also, the branch of his pre-deceased sons would get the same share.
  • In case, the ‘late’ NRI husband also has some lineal successors left, then 1/3rd of the assets would be given to his widow(s), and the remaining 2/3rd would be divided amongst his lineal successors.
  • In case, there is no one kindred to the deceased husband; the entire property would be given to his widow.

Living the life of a widow is extremely painful and the pain becomes unbearable when the widow is deprived of her rights after the husband’s demise. If you are also going through this pain, you don’t need to feel alone and get in touch with the expert team of NRI Legal World. Here, we make sure that you get the well-deserved property rights of your NRI husband through 100% legal procedures! Get in touch at +91 85-85-85-71-71 or email at

By : NRI Legal World

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