Whether a Female can be a Karta ?

The Karta is the head of the Hindu joint family. He is also known as ‘karata’.  Also He occupies a unique position in the management of the joint family. Side by side the father or the senior most male member act as ‘karta’ .even a junior most member can be a karta of HUF , if the other male members (coparceners) agree to it. A minor male (coparceners) may also act as a karta through his legal guardian till the become a major of HUF.

The position of the ‘Karta’ or the ‘manager’ of the Hindu joint family (HUF) finds its roots in the ‘Patriarch’ of the ancient family units. The term ‘Karta’ has been well defined in the case of Suraj Bunsi Koer v. Sheo Persad.

Read Also – Who is a Hindu? State The Categories of Persons To Whom Hindu Law Applies

Manager – Property belonging to a joint hindu  family is ordinarily managed by the father or another senior member the particular joint family: The Manager of a joint family is called Karta or The Manager.The absolute powers of the ‘Patriarch’ have now evolved into superior powers that are accompanied by similar responsibilities as well . These powers and responsibilities are several and quite multifaceted. The power of alienation of a Karta is limited since alienation can only be done in exceptional cases only . The other powers of the Karta, however, are almost absolute in joint family .

Under Hindu Law coparcenership is a necessary qualification for the membership of a joint Hindu family. Before the Hindu succession (amendment) Act, 2005 a female was not a coparcener, therefore, she could not be Karta. A widow was not a coparcener, she had no legal qualification to become the manager of a joint Hindu family.

But after the Hindu succession (amendment) Act, 2005 daughter of a coparcener is a coparcener. Therefore, it is submitted that she may become a karta of Mitakshara coparcenary, provided she is seniormost coparcener.


Md Sahabuddin Mondal

Junior Advocate, Calcutta High Court

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