File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Sociological Perspectives On Inheritance Law Of India

The study investigates issues of inheritance law, the right to property, and current judicial developments in Indian succession law, where courts have lately construed legislation to provide Indian individuals expanded property rights. As an added bonus, it discusses the development of Indian inheritance law from antiquity through the middle ages. As an addendum, the article elaborates on vital topics such succession principles, the justification for succession rules, and the coparcenary system.

We are officially in the Age of Equality, as guaranteed by the Constitution. It is expected that as social integration, economic independence, and reform movements flourish in India, there will be a greater push to advance women's rights in terms of equal property rights. However, the courts continue to be cautious when examining the constitutional legitimacy of personal laws. Accordingly, the report includes details on the gender gaps in inheritance law and the reforms made to resolve these difficulties.

Title transfer (in the presence or absence of a will), succession and legal heir-ship certificate, taxes and other conditions, nominee rights, and the method to be followed in claiming the same are all part of the all-encompassing approach to inheritance law. Inheritance law and its development in relation to the transfer of virtual property across networks are the exclusive topics of this investigation.

Introduction Historically, property conflicts have been the root of protracted disagreements. Throughout the globe, property succession has traditionally led to strife between families. After the era of monarchs ended, the arena of the contemporary world went to the courts. Even though succession law is a vital and necessary part of the overall legal system, it is a fascinating but challenging topic owing to its complexity. Offering safety to family members is one of the most fundamental themes in the development of family law. No one in India has to worry about dying intestate, that is, without leaving a legal will, since the law of inheritance has been so recently and comprehensively reformed.

Inheritance is the legal right of a person to a legal entity of origin or successor. The Laws of Succession control the transfer of a dead person's possessions based on certain legal principles. The study starts by providing a concise summary of succession laws in India, including the distinctions between the two Hindu schools, Islamic inheritance rules, principles of succession, rationale for succession laws, and the coparcenary system, which includes both agnates and cognates. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the concept of an heir varies depending on a person's culture and religious beliefs.

Succession Law In India - In A Nutshell

The Laws of Succession control the transfer of a dead person's assets in accordance with the applicable legal standards. Corporate entities having perpetual existence are exempt and subject to separate regulations regulating dissolution, restructuring, and liquidation. The rules of succession are divided into two categories: first, when a dead person has left a valid and enforceable 'Will,' and second, when a deceased person has died without leaving a valid and enforceable 'Will.'

Succession Law: The Two Hindu Law

The law of inheritance was codified into two distinct schools of Hindu law, the Mitakshara and the Dayabhaga, via a process that began with a number of comments and digests. These educational institutions were recognised across India and each had its own geographic service area. Many of India's primary inheritance rules before to British colonial authority were either directly derived from religious texts or were heavily affected by personal laws that were themselves beholden to religious and customary norms. They disagree fundamentally on the basis that should be used to decide who should inherit what.

Successors (coparceners) inherit property under the Mitakshara school of inheritance simply by virtue of being born into the family of the property holders, and in the case of Dayabhaga, the property passes to the heirs upon the death of the father or holder of the property.

Inheritance laws in the Mitakshara were widely criticised as being particularly hostile to females. Dayabhaga was likewise prejudiced, but it was seen as a more liberal institution since it provided more protections for women.

All of India, excluding Bengal and Assam, followed the Mitakshara school as understood by Vijaneshwar's commentary, whereas only Bengal and Assam followed the Dayabhagha school as interpreted by Jeenutavahan.

Inheritance Of Women Perspective

Article 14 of the Indian Constitution says that everyone has the right to be treated equally. Article 15 says that the government can't treat people differently because of their caste, colour, religion, or gender. This gives all citizens the same protection under the law. When you look at how the laws about women's inheritance rights are set up, you might wonder why some of the unfair inheritance laws have not been thrown out, since the Constitution says that they must be.

In India, women's inheritances have more to do with culture and religion than with the nature of the law and how it is put into practise. It is well known that one way for women own a property is through an inheritance. Owning any kind of property is a better way to get respect and appreciation from family and society as a whole. All economic rights can be passed down from one generation to the next.

There are two kinds of economic rights: religious and customary rights (which are based on culture) and rights made by people (ie., legislated). History shows that making property laws has always been the sole responsibility of men. As a result, these laws tend to favour men and leave little room for questioning their inherently unequal nature. By doing this, the whole idea of equality becomes meaningless, even if it is a precondition.

Hindu Women Inheritance Right

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was the first law passed after India gained independence to give Hindus a clear and consistent way to pass on their property. It was added as a change to the system that was already in place. For women's inheritance rights before HSA, the Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act of 1937 was in place. Its passing was a big deal because it gave Hindu widows the right to take over for the first time.

It can be seen as the first step toward establishing practises that treat men and women equally. Still, it left a gap that was filled by the Hindu Succession Act a few years later. HSA applies to the Mitakshara school, the Dayabhanga school, and some parts of South India. Section 14 of the act got rid of the idea that women could only own a small amount of property and gave them full ownership.

The important parts of the Act are:
  • The limited estate that was given to women before was changed to an absolute one.
  • Other female heirs than the widow were given rights, while the widow's position was made stronger.
  • In the Mitakshara Coparcenary, the doctrine of survivorship is still used, but if there is a woman in line, the doctrine of testamentary succession is used to keep her from being left out.
  • No longer are being unchaste, getting remarried, or being a Christian a valid reason for not being able to inherit.
  • Even the unborn child has a right if she or he was in the womb when the person died and was born later.

In 2005, the Hindu Succession Act was changed to get rid of the inequality between men and women that was written into the law about a daughter's or a married daughter's right to share in the property of a Hindu joint family. It made daughters co-heirs and put them on the same level as sons in the family. Classical law said that a daughter stopped being a member of her birth family when she got married. However, an amendment said that she would still be a member of the joint family, even if she got married.

Following are the provisions of Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act:
Dissipation of Coparcenary Property Interests:
Upon the coming into force of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005, a daughter of a coparcener shall: become a coparcener by birth in her own right in the same manner as the son; have the same rights in the coparcenary property as she would have had if she were a son; be subject to the same liabilities in respect of the said coparcenary property as that of a son.

One example of how this amendment aimed to eliminate prejudice against women seen in Section 6 was the Pravat Chandra Patnaik case, which demonstrated the need of granting daughters equal rights to their father's Hindu Mitakshara coparcenary property.

By granting a female heir the absolute right to seek a partition in a home used only by a joint family, Parliament has attempted to realise the purpose of eradicating prejudice beyond that which is included in Section 6 of the act., as stated in the case of Sekar v Geetha & Ors.

The widespread uncertainty that the Section 6 modification produced is noteworthy. The Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Prakash v. Phulavati confirmed that the amendment will only apply going forward, stating that "Rights under the amendment are applicable to live daughters of surviving coparceners as of 09-09-2005 regardless of when these daughters were born."

If the coparcener had passed away before September 9, 2005, it is implied that the daughter would have no claim to the coparcenary assets.

Supreme Court Justices concurred with Phulavati's decision in 2018's Danamma v. Amar, however they affirmed the following: "The daughter's rights were solidified since the action for partition was still active when the amendment legislation was passed. The coparcener's death in 2001 did not negate the daughters' right to the benefit provided by the amendment ".

This suggested that the legislation may be applied retroactively.
Since the coparcener died before 2005, it is unclear whether or not the daughter is entitled to an equal share with the boys. This inconsistency in applying the legislation has triggered a wave of lawsuits. The Supreme Court then tried to resolve the conflict between Phulavati and Danamma by affirming Phulavati as binding precedent and dismissing Danamma. This case is known as Mangammal v. T.B. Raju. The role of female coparcener is now quite clear, but it's important to remember that the modification that caused so much misunderstanding was intended to empower women.

Judicial Development In India

Even after sixty decades of independence and a new constitution that protects the equality of all people without sex or religious discrimination, the law on the inheritance of property in India has not been fully determined. The case of a married woman whose spouse passed away three months after their wedding and left her a widow was brought before the Supreme Court.

Consequently, she was expelled from her marital home immediately after her husband's death. In the scenario of a Hindu married female dying intestate, if her husband designated representatives her and that there are no descendants, her property passes to her husband's heirs, i.e., paternal and maternal heirs do not inherit her property, but her spouse's relatives inherit in the capacity as her husband's heirs, regardless of their relationship to her husband. Contemporary Indian culture preserves historic patterns of material asset ownership and adherence to traditional principles.

India's agricultural transformation has been inadequate, uneven, and patriarchal. [9] It is considerably more vital to adhere to the Constitution of India's ideas of equality, justice, and antidiscrimination than to maintain the antiquated, illogical, arbitrary, and unequal personal laws that diminish the status of women in India.

Devolution Of Property

One interesting thing about Mitakshara coparcenary is that a coparcener's right to coparcenary property began when he was born. So, the fact that the property was owned by a man didn't stop a woman from becoming a co-owner. The fact of birth was enough to give a person the right to property. Because of this, a coparcener is said to have a "unobstructed heritage" to coparcenary property, which means that the existence of a male ancestor, such as a father, grandfather, or great-grandfather, does not affect the right to the property. The law of possession by birth was used to decide who got what from the inheritance.

Also, according to the Mitakshara school, property was divided based on who was still alive when the last male holder died. This means that when the last male holder died, the property was divided equally among the coparceners who were still alive. This means that if a coparcener dies who is not the last male holder, his (deceased) share would likely be split among the other coparceners who are still alive. He doesn't leave anything that could be considered his share of the joint property.

A coparcenary, for example, is made up of the father and his two sons. Each of them probably owns a third of the property as long as it stays in one piece. When one of the sons dies, his likely one-third share of the property is taken by the remaining coparceners, which are the father and the surviving brother. The son who died will have no share in the coparcenary property. The father and the son who is still alive will likely get a half share. One of the most important rights of a co-owner is the right to survive. So, the amount of interest each coparcener gets is not fixed because it changes when people die or have children.

This can also be interpreted as meaning that because coparceners share ownership and possession of coparcenary property, their exact share is not set and they cannot claim a certain part of the property as their own until it is divided. Coparceners share enjoyment of the property they own together.

After the Hindu Succession Act was changed in 2005, this idea of "survivorship" was taken away. Now, the only way to pass on property is through a will or the rules for "intestate succession" in the Hindu Succession Act.

When it comes to legal protections, ancient Hindu law did not provide women the same protections accorded to males. The Hindu Women's Rights to Property Act of 1937 was one of the first laws to recognise women's entitlement to inheritance. However, the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was revised, marking a significant shift in the rights of women regarding inheritance. It opened the door for the first time for a woman to be a coparcener and have the same rights in her family's land as a boy.

Nonetheless, the court's interpretation of the Act, especially in Prakash v.Phulavati (2015), did not provide all women equal protection under the law. Since the legislation did not become law until 2005, it did not apply to daughters whose fathers had died before then.

This was fixed, however, in the case of Vineeta Sharma vs. Rakesh Sharma, in which the Supreme Court retroactively applied the 2005 modification, therefore granting women the same legal status as male heirs as coparceners. The last obstacle to women's access to ancestral property has been eliminated by this ruling.

When a person dies, his or her possessions go to the next of kin. It is possible for a person to die without leaving a will. Inheritance is one of the most significant regulations in family and property law since it governs the distribution of an individual's assets upon his or her death, whether or not a will has been left. The scope and application of inheritance law, as well as the paper's primary topic, have been thoroughly explored. The study acknowledges the significance of analysing the inheritance reach of network virtual property with its discussion of real estate in this modern period.

Unfortunately, the absence of a clear provision in "inheritance law" with regards to network virtual property has left courts without clear statutory direction. When thinking about the future of intellectual property rights, it is essential to factor in the possibility of inheritance. It was necessary to do extensive research since the issue of inheritance is rich in qualitative data.

In addition, the case study's presentation of relevant facts and information demonstrates that India still has some way to go in terms of inheritance law, particularly in regards to the status of women in the context of Karta and other related topics. The present covid problem and its influence is so large that virtual life has expanded along with an increase in mortality, leading to an escalation of disputes and obstacles.

  1. Agarwal, B. (1994). A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia, volume 58. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Anderson, S., & Genicot, G. (2015). Suicide and Property Rights in India. Journal of Development Economics, 114, 64-78.
  3. Deininger, K. W., Goyal, A., & Nagarajan, H. K. (2013). Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India. Journal of Human Resources, 48(1), 114-41.
  4. Harari, M. (2014). Women Inheritance Rights and Bargaining Power: Evidence from Kenya. Department of Economics of MIT, 1-47.
  5. Joseph, M. (1993). Gendered Justice. Economic and Political Weekly, 28(50), 2711.
  6. Mookerjee, S. (2019). Gender-Neutral Inheritance Laws, Family Structure, and Women's Status in India. The World Bank Economic Review, 33(2), 498-515.
  7. Roy, S. (2008). Female Empowerment through Inheritance Rights: Evidence from India. London School of Economics, London.
  8. Roy, K. C., & Tisdell, C. A. (2002). Property Rights in Women's Empowerment in Rural India: A Review. International Journal of Social Economics, 29(4), 315-34.
  9. Saxena, P. (2008). "Succession Laws and Gender Justice" in Archana Parashar and AmitaDhanda (eds.), Redefining Family Law in India, Routledge, New Delhi, p. 289.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly