The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday ruled that women can only claim inheritance within their lifetime, and their children would have no rights in this regard later. The court issued the ruling in a case in which the children of two deceased women from Peshawar claimed a share in their maternal grandfather Isa Khan’s property. A three-member bench of the top court-presided over by Justice Umar Ata Bandia-heard the case. The bench rejected the appeal filed by the woman’s children. Isa Khan had transferred his property to his son without giving a share to either of his daughters and the daughters had not attempted to claim their right on their father’s property during their lifetime. The children, however, filed a case in 2004 to claim their share in their maternal grandfather’s property. Later, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) nullified a civil court’s judgement in favour of the grandchildren. During Thursday’s hearing, the SC upheld the high court’s decision, with Justice Umar Ata Bandial maintaining that the law provided protection to women’s inheritance rights. “We have to look at what happens if women give up their rights or do not claim,” Justice Bandial said. Earlier in August, the apex court had expressed serious concerns over the executive’s slackness in protecting the rights of inheritance of females. A division bench of the apex court comprising by Justice Isa and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the case wherein a sister was being deprived of inheritance. Justice Isa while authoring the judgment said that the adage prevention is the best medicine and equally applicable when female rights are impaired. “The state must ensure the protection of rights which is far easier, cheaper and less wasteful of public resources than restoring rights through the courts, which is laborious, expensive and needlessly wasteful of resources. This is all the more disconcerting in an Islamic Republic, the Constitution of which specifically protects property rights and enables the making of ‘special provision for the protection of women and children’,” the judgment stated. The court noted that it is extremely regrettable that in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, male heirs continue to deprive female heirs of their inheritance by resorting to different tactics and by employing dubious devices.