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Khasi woman to lose inheritance if she follows husband’s custom  

Shillong, Nov 8: A Khasi woman will lose the right of inheritance if she follows the custom of her non-Khasi husband.

This is one of the features of The Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Inheritance of Property) Bill, 2021 introduced by the Chief Executive Member (CEM) Titosstar Well Chyne during the first day of the council’s autumn session on Monday.

“Whereas, it is expedient to make law on the custom pertaining to the Khasi inheritance of property, it is therefore consider necessary to enact this Bill for proper regulation and administration on inheritance of property among Khasis in Khasi Hills,” Chyne said in a statement of object and reasons.

The bill wants to ensure equitable distribution of property among the off springs.

The bill said as far as practicable, the property should be equitably distributed among all the children of the family- both male and female provided that the house of the deceased parent shall be inherited by Ka Khun Khadduh (youngest daughter) if she is not disqualified.

The bill, however, said a person will lose the right of inheritance if she/he has lost Khasi status as defined under the provision of the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act, 1997 and its rules framed thereunder.

“A Khasi woman, who was married to the non-Khasi and has adopted the custom of her non-Khasi husband, will lose the right of heritance,” it said, adding that the offspring of a Khasi woman who follows the custom of their non-Khasi father will also lose their right of inheritance.

Other offences include marriage against parental consent, disobedience of parental commands, marriage and commission of incest with a kur or within the prohibited kindred.

According to the bill, the second wife will have no right to claim over the property of her husband and her children will also have no right to the self-acquired property of their father acquired while he lived in the house of the first wife.

“Provided if the person has made a will or pynkam in favour of the second wife whom he either legally married or not and their children, they have every right to inherit the property given to them through that particular will or pynkam,” it said.

A female Khasi person who is adopted into a Khasi family through “Rap-iing” will have the right to inherit the property as per the Khasi custom and under the provision of this Act and Rules.

“It shall be lawful for any Khasi person who is competent to make a will or pynkam or written declaration or family agreement to give property to the person adopted through Rap-iing’, the bill said.

The bill further stated that where there is no will or pynkam or family’s written declaration or family agreement made in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the prevailing Khasi Custom in force shall prevail in respect of such property.

Among the Wars, the male and female get equal share from the property of their parents, it added.

Regarding the Iapduh family, the bill states that such property shall be inherited by way of a will or pynkam executed by the executor during his/her lifetime or a family declaration or family settlement executed during the lifetime of the owner of the property.

“Provided, in the absence of such will or pynkam or family declaration or family settlement, the most immediate family members shall inherit the property after the same has been mutually settled within the family in the presence of the Kni(s). As far as practicable, such property shall be equitably distributed among the most immediate family members,” it said.

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