A Khasi woman who marries and adopts the custom of her non-Khasi husband will lose the right of inheritance.
This was according to 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 Khasi in Khasi Hills,” Chyne said in a statement of object and reasons.
The Bill seeks to ensure equitable distribution of property among the children.
It 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 that a person shall lose the right of inheritance if she/he has loss and deprivation of Khasi status as defined under the provision of the KHAD (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Act, 1997 and its rules framed thereunder.
“In case a Khasi woman, who has married to the non-Khasi and has adopted the custom of her non-Khasi husband (will lose the right of heritance),” it said.
It also added that the offspring of a Khasi woman who follows the custom of their non-Khasi father will also lose their right of inheritance.
The other offences include marriage against parental consent, disobedience of parental commands, marriage and commission of incest with a kur or within the prohibited degreed of kindred.
The Bill further states that 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.
It also said that a female Khasi person who is adopted into a Khasi family through “Rap-iing” shall 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 family written declaration or family agreement to give property to the person adopted through “Rap-iing”.
The Bill further stated that where there is no will or pynkam or family 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.
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 if she is not disqualified.
Among the Wars, the male and female get equal share from the property of their parents, it added.
Regarding the Iapduh family, the Bill stated 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 amongst the most immediate family members,” it stated..