Need of secular law in Succession
There are two types of succession:
Intestate succession and Testamentary
succession. Intestate succession means a person who is dying without writing a
will than his/her property will divide according to different statute as per
their religion. Hindu's intestate succession is governed by Hindu succession
act, 1956. Muslim intestate succession is governed as per their personal law.
Christian and Parsi's intestate succession is governed under Indian Succession
India has no secular law towards succession law. If Hindu male dies without
writing a will than his property will divide between his legal heirs according
to Hindu succession act, 1956. First it will goes to the class-I heirs. There
are 16 persons in the class-I heirs. If there is no person alive from the
class-I heirs than the property goes to the class-II heirs.
And if there is no person alive in the class-II heirs than property will go to
the agnates and cognates. As per my opinion these provisions are not appropriate
because it is obvious that in today's time most of the family can't live in
joint family. So, what is the meaning of division of the dead person's property
among 16 people?
That died person maybe not live with them or those people even can't take care
of that died person, so why would they inherit the property?� Hindu succession
act, 1956 also define the succession of woman's property. If Hindu female died
intestate than her property will first go to her children and husband. If they
are not available than it will go to the husband's legal heirs. It means it will
divide according to class-I heirs. And if the legal heirs of husband is not
available than the property will go to her mother and father. But it is possible
that there are some people in husband's legal heirs who are available. So, it is
possibility that the property may not go to the third degree unless Hindu female
As per my opinion first it will go the children, husband and her own parents
than it will go to the other people. In Muslim law, the property of the
intestate will divide according to the sharers, residuaries and distant kindred.
Muslim personal law has totally different provisions from Hindu law. One thing
which is very good provision in Muslim law that Husband, wife, father, mother,
son and daughter will surely inherit the property of intestate.
If these people are available they are definitely going to inherit the property
which is the very good provision that every other personal law should adopt from
Muslim law. As we already know that religious laws are bias in itself. In the
Muslim law if the property will divide as a residuary to the brother-sister as
it will go in the ratio of 2:1. This is clearly biasness that we already know.
Sons get more rights over daughters. And we already know that every personal law
has some provisions which is absolutely against right to equality beat gender
and beat religion. Muslim personal law does not recognise about woman's
What should we do if Muslim woman has property and she dies? In Muslim law
sometimes property will divide 1/3, sometimes 2/3 or sometimes residuary. It is
very complicated to calculate the property according to situation at the time.
Christian's succession is governed under Indian succession act, 1925 and the
If Christian person died intestate his immovable property is divided according
to the Indian Succession act, 1925 and the moveable property will divide
according to the domicile law. Domicile means the person who is live in
particular state or country for the fix period of time than he/she have domicile
of that particular state or country. Why such provision is governed under
domicile law? That person is Indian Christian but lives in other country, but
why is this different for movable and immovable property.
If Parsi person died intestate than it will divide according to the Indian
succession act, 1925. If Parsi person died than his/her property will divide
equally to the widow or widower and children of that person. The property will
go to their parents also. However Indian succession act, 1925 is secular law
regarding the testamentary succession.
But there are some provisions which are only apply to the Christian and Parsi.
What if a person marriage to someone who has different religion. Then there is a
problem regarding which law would his children follow? For any matter related to
family law, there is a one fixed question arise about the secular law. In order
to reduce the conflict and complications, India needs the secular law in family
matters i.e. marriage, divorce and succession etc. These personal laws are
always violating individual's fundamental right of equality.
It includes both gender inequality and religion inequality. The current laws are
also having some provisions against right of equality. Except Hindu law, no
other law defines about the property of woman. Woman has also achieved her own
property through her hard-work. Other laws should learn this provision regarding
woman's property from Hindu law. One thing which is Muslim law have a good
provision that 6 persons definitely get the shares and those people are the
nearest persons of that intestate person.
Therefore, legislature should bring uniform law or amend the current laws.
Current laws are not useless, it is just complicated. Legislature should change
the personal law in uniform law with changing times and society. Legislature
should provide uniform law to bring equal status and equal rights for all.
In last, I personally believe that people should prefer Testamentary succession
because in this they ensure that property will divide as per their wish. In
intestate succession, the property may not be divided according to the wish of
died person. So, testamentary succession is much better than intestate
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