Legal hiccups keep women deprived of property rights

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, January 20:

The legal provision of property rights to women exists, but there’s a long way to go before it is really implemented. Sharada Khanal’s is a tale of struggle to get the property she has a right to. She is denied the right to enter her own house. Last March, the Supreme Court ruled in her favour. She even got certficates of ownership of land in Biratnagar and a building in Baluwatar, Kathmandu, from her husband’s share of property.

Police security provided her security to help her gain entry into the house but she remains homeless. “Lengthy formalities that the court follows, gives a defendant the opportunity to thwart the justice-seeker. The system revictimises the victim,” said Anita Chapagain, advocate at Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre. Defendants keep inventing myriad reasons not to let the order be implemented, said Chapagain. Date after date is given, time keeps elapsing and the victim remains deprived of her right, said Chapagain. She added that in this case, Sharada’s husband even tried to prove that she was not his wife.