The eldest female member of a family can be its "Karta", the Delhi high court has ruled in a landmark verdict. A unique position carved out by Hindu customs and ancient texts, "Karta" denotes managership of a joint family and is traditionally inherited by men.
"If a male member of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), by virtue of his being the first born eldest, can be a Karta, so can a female member. The court finds no restriction in law preventing the eldest female co-parcenor of an HUF, from being its Karta," Justice Najmi Waziri said in a judgment made public earlier this week.
The Karta occupies a position superior to that of other members and has full authority to manage property, rituals or other crucial affairs of the family. These include taking decisions on sale and purchase of family assets, mutation of property etc.