The salient features of Stridhan can be described as under:
(1) The test as to whether it is Stridhan:
A Hindu female can secure the property from numerous sources but every such property cannot be Stridhan. Whether a property constitutes Stridhan, depends upon the following factors:
(a) Source of acquiring the property,
(b) The status of the female at the time of acquiring the property, i.e., maidenhood, married status or widowhood,
(c) The school to which she belonged.
In the matters of succession to Stridhan, a new order of heirs was provided under law which included her own heirs upon whom Stridhan devolved after the death of the female. This rule does not apply to the succession of woman’s estate. But now under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 the distinction between the two categories of property have been abolished and an uniform rule of succession has been provided with respect to Stridhan.
(3) Power of alienation:
A Hindu female possessed absolute ownership over Stridhan and hence she enjoyed absolute right of alienation of such property. She could voluntarily dispose it of.
After the commencement of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, every property held by a Hindu female on the date of the enforcement of Act, whether acquired prior or subsequent to the Act, became her absolute property. Hence she has got the absolute power to alienate the same at her volition.
Sources of Stridhan:
Properties acquired from the following sources fall under the expression Stridhan—
(i) Gift received from relatives.
(ii) Gifts and bequests received from strangers during maidenhood.
(iii) Property obtained in partition.
(iv) Property got in lieu of maintenance.
(v) Property acquired by inheritance.
(vi) Property acquired through technical skill and art.
(vii) Property acquired by compromise.
(viii)Property acquired by adverse possession.
(ix) Property purchased with the earnings of the Stridhan or with savings of income from Stridhan.
(x) Property acquired lawfully from sources other than those mentioned above.
Kinds of Stridhana and incidents thereof:
(i) Adhayagni—gifts given at the time of nuptial fire.
(ii) Adhyavaharika—gifts given to bride while going to her husband’s house.
(iii) Pritidatta—gifts given to the daughters-in-law by mother and father-in-law out of love and affection.
(iv) Patidatta—gifts given to her by her husband.
(v) Padvannadanika—gifts given by the elders while wishing them and paying them respect.
(vi) Anvadhyeyaka—gifts received from husband after her marriage.
(vii) Adhivedanika—gift given to first wife when the second wife was brought.
(viii) Shulk—money received for marriage.
(ix) Bandhudatta—gifts given by relatives of mother and father.
(x) Vritti—money given for maintenance and properties purchased from the money given towards her maintenance.
(xi) Yavtaka—when the bride and bridegroom sat together after marriage and received gifts i.e., the gifts given to wife during marriage.
(xii) Ayavtaka—those which did not fall in the yavtaka category mentioned above.
(xiii) Savdayika and Asavdayika—this kind of Stridhan covers those properties which are received by a woman from her husband, father or at husbands’ or father’s house. The division of, Stridhan by Katyayana into Saudayika and Asaudayika depends upon right of alienation. She has an absolute right over all the Saudayika properties. Over Asaudayika Stridhan the husband too has the right of ownership.
(xiv) Paribhashit and aparibhashit—Technical stridhan—Mayukha law divides the Stridhan into paribhashit and aparibhasit categories. The paribhasit one is given to the woman before fire or at the time of her departure for husband’s home. Other properties given to her fall under aparibhashik category.