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Gender Equality Milestone: Himachal Pradesh Rectifies 51-Year-Old Land ceiling Act

Shimla, April 4

In a landmark decision, the Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed a bill to promote gender equality in land ownership. The amendment to the 51-year-old legislation ‘Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings Act of 1972’ will now allow adult daughters (married and unmarried) to have a separate independent unit of up to 150 bighas of land, bringing them at par with adult sons.

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Previously, the Act allowed an adult son to have an additional 150 bighas of land while denying the same right to an adult daughter. The move has been widely welcomed by all sections of society as a positive step towards empowering women in the State.

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, who introduced the amendment Bill in the State Assembly, said, “By making the necessary amendment, the State Government is providing succour to lakh of families in the State having daughters. This amendment aims to ensure that families with daughters have equal rights in land ownership, removing the unconstitutional clause that promotes gender inequality.”

The Bill, the ‘Himachal Pradesh Ceiling on Land Holdings (Amendment) Act, 2023,’ aims to ensure gender equality for both sons and daughters when owning an independent unit of land. The State Government rectified the error by inserting the words, “or daughter” after the word “son” in sub-section 4 of section 4 of the existing Act.

The move is expected to provide relief to lakhs of families in the State having daughters, enabling their daughters to have an additional unit of 150 bighas of land. This will also pave the way to remove gender discrimination in line with the provisions of the Indian Constitution.

The amendment Bill was passed on 3rd April 2023 and is being hailed as a significant step towards empowering women in the State. With this move, families with adult daughters will have the same land rights as those with adult sons, totalling up to 300 bighas.

The decision is expected to have a far-reaching impact on society, promoting gender equality and empowering women in the State, stated a spokesperson from the State government.



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