Summary of the leading case Shev Shankar Lai v. Debi Sahai, 30, 1.A. 202.

It was contended on behalf of the sons that property inherited from a woman by another woman was not her Stridhan property.

Judgment:

The Privy Council noted:

(1) The main question is, whether under Mitakshara Law of Banaras School, property which a woman has taken by inheri­tance from a female is her Stridhan in the sense that on her death it passes to her Stridhan heirs.

(2) In Bengal it was well-settled that property inherited from a woman by woman does not pass on the death of the latter to her Stridhan heirs.

(3) Under the Mitakshara law the text of Mitakshara seem to make all property taken by woman by an inheritance of her Stridhan. It has been previously decided that property inherited from males is not Stridhan. There can be distinction if the property is inher­ited from females.

(4) Their Lordships approved the view of Macnaughten, a great authority on Hindu Law that what once descended as Stridhan does not so descend again.

Accordingly it was held that the property in dispute was not the Stridhan as to devolve upon the plaintiff’s sister in prefer­ence to them.

A female inheriting property (Stridhana) from a female takes only a limited estate in such property, and at her death the prop­erty passes not to her heirs, but to the next Stridhan heirs of the female from whom she inherited it. Accordingly the property will not descend to the Stridhan heirs of the daughter, Jagarnath be­cause she had only a limited estate in it but to the next Stridhana heir of their mother, Jadonath who was the absolute owner of the property.

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