HC impleads Swamy in Muslim inheritance case

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KOCHI, November 7:  The Kerala High Court on Thursday impleaded BJP leader Subramanian Swamy as an additional respondent in a writ petition for equal inheritance right to Muslim women.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique issued the order when Dr. Swamy made a mention of his petition for impleading himself in the case, which stemmed from a petition filed in 2008 by the Quran Sunnath Society of Kozhikode, a Malappuram-based humanist centre; V.P. Zuhara, president of the NISA Muslim Women’s Forum, Kozhikode; and two others. It had not come up for furthering hearing since then. He said many Muslim women had urged him to raise the issue before the court.

The petitioners argued that the existing law of succession, based on Shariat, went against the spirit of the Koran. In the practice now followed by large sections of the community, a daughter had to share the property with distant relatives, besides parents and spouse.

If a Muslim left only daughters, they would not get an equal share in property as a son would, and they would also have to share it with not so close relatives of the deceased. On the other hand, a son could inherit the entire property and share it only with his spouse and parents of the deceased.

The petitioners said the right of the wife and children of a deceased man to his property was well accepted in all sections of society, and Muslims could not be an exemption. The case was adjourned to the second week of December.

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