Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and Customary Law

Forums Family Law Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and Customary Law

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  • #3699
    leaglesamiksha
    Keymaster

    Succession in Hindu families was governed by the customary law until Hindu Succession Act came in place.

    Ques: What are the significant changes that took place after the passing of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956?

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    • #3702
      leaglesamiksha
      Keymaster

      In traditional Hindu Law, the order of succession is based on spiritual benefit, but the Act has changed the order of succession based on affinity. In the old Hindu Law, women were entitled to a limited estate ( property inheritance), the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 abolished the limited estate, and now they are entitled to the absolute estate. In the past, the coparcenary could not make a will regarding his interest in Joint family property, whereas after passing the Act, he can execute a will in respect of his interest in the property. In old Hindu Law, Mithakshara and Dayabhaga schools recognized separate rules of succession; there were no uniform rules. But the Act has now adopted a uniform set of rules for all Hindus. The rule of spiritual benefit used to be the previous rule, whereas now it’s the rule of equality. Finally, in old Hindu Law, unchastity was a ground for excluding from inheritance on the part of women, but now it is not a ground.

    • #3766
      leaglesamiksha
      Keymaster

      Before the enactment of the Hindu succession act, 1956, the succession in Hindu families was governed by the customary law followed locally and it was also influenced by the school they belong to(i.e. Mithakshara and Dayabhaga). After the enactment of the act there was a unified law for both of the Hindu schools. More over in addition to that the right of women to inherit property from Father or as widow was recognised. A fixed definite class of heir was established. In before time certain local law the heir may be disqualified to inherit the property but after the enactment of the Hindu succession act, this was abolished.

    • #3774
      leaglesamiksha
      Keymaster

      The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, brought about many important changes in the Hindu intestate succession of properties apart from introducing a uniform law of succession among Hindus, in the entire territory of India. Under the pre-existent law in the Hindu joint family, a coparcener could not write in respect of his interest or property in the family. But Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act enables a coparcener to write a will in respect of his property. Secondly, on the death of coparcener, the principle of survivorship was recognised. The past sapindas relationship was totally abolished. In that place love and affection theory has come into the existence and as such both males and females could inherit the property of the deceased. The Act entitles a male Hindu to dispose of heir’s interest in Mitakshara coparcenary property by will. The Act does not apply to Mitakshara coparcenary property. But when coparcener dies leaving female heirs mentioned in class I of the Act or male relative of the claim claiming through such female relative, the property of the ancestor is subjected to rules of inheritance under the Act and the coparcenership is abolished.

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