Lucknow: A child born out of rape will have inheritance rights over the property of the assaulter, the “biological father”, Allahabad High Court has ruled, suggesting that an appropriate law be enacted by the legislature to deal with this “complex social issue”.
A division bench of Justice Shabihul Hasnain and Justice D.K. Upadhayaya said the child would be treated as the assaulter’s illegitimate child.
The court, however, added that if the child was given away for adoption, then he/she would not have any right on the biological father’s property.
“We may observe here that in the matter relating to inheritance, the manner of birth of a person is irrelevant; the rights of inheritance of a person are governed by the personal law to which the person is subject irrespective of the manner of birth of the person,” the Lucknow bench of the court said yesterday.
“It is irrelevant as to whether the newly-born child of a rape victim is born out of consensual sex or otherwise,” the bench said. The ruling came on the petition of a minor rape victim who gave birth to a girl recently and wanted to give up the baby for adoption.
It might not be possible to judicially lay down any norm or principle for inheritance by a minor who is born as a result of rape, the bench said, adding such an attempt by the court would amount to legislation by judicial pronouncement and would operate as precedent in times to come.