The idea and concept of the Coparcenary are discussed under the Hindu
Succession Act of 1956. The meaning of the Coparcenary refers to the possession
of the ancestral property of the family. The word "coparcener" in Hindu law
refers to male family members who have a birthright to take a stake in ancestral
property. They consist of the Karta, who is the head of the family, and the
three generations after him, which comprise his sons, grandsons, and
great-grandsons. Since the Hindu Succession law was amended in 2005, a family's
daughter is also regarded as a coparcener. While in a Hindu family, including
the wives and the unmarried daughters, all individuals who are linearly
descended from a common ancestor are referred as members. As a result, not all
members of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) are coparceners; rather, coparceners
are members of a HUF.
A HUF, or Hindu Undivided Family, is a group of people who are all directly
connected by a common ancestor, including their spouses and unmarried daughters.
A Hindu Family naturally creates a HUF; it cannot be founded through a contract.
"Hindu Undivided Family ('HUF') is treated as a 'person' under section 2(31)of
the Income-tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'). HUF is a
separate entity for the purpose of assessment under the Act."
Karta is the supreme member or head of the family and he is the person
responsible for partition in the family. In the case of "Ram Kumar v Commr.
Income Tax", it was held by the court that A Hindu joint family is seen as a
unit, and the Karta is in charge of it. Karta is regarded as the controller of
the HUFand is hence a very significant individual. Karta's viewpoint is referred
to as Sui generis. He thus occupies a special place inside the Hindu family's
Schools Of Hindu Law
Mitakshara School: The law of inheritance Mitakshara School was applied in
accordance with the propinquity principle, which simply means in order of
closeness of blood relation. A similar idea was also underpinned in the Hindu
Succession Act. Acco. to the law, the males of the family were given exclusive
birth rights to have possession of the joint family's property, but the
daughters of the family were not given any such rights.
Dayabhaga School: The law of inheritance was based on the notion of religious
reward or spiritual gain in this school. According to the theory of oblations,
the individual who bestows more spiritual benefit would have the right to
inherit the property. In this school, not only the sons of the family-owned the
land by birthright but also females may inherit it. The boys do not inherit any
rights to inherited property at birth; instead, they become entitled to them
upon the demise of the Karta or the last holder of the property.
Evolution Of Coparcenary
The coparcenary system has gone through a lot of changes. One of the key aspects
of that is the "Hindu Succession Amendment Act, 2005", herein referred after as
the 2005 Amendment. The amendment of 2005 amends the old law and includes
females as coparceners in coparcenaries. The Hindu Succession Act's Section 6
marked the beginning of women's rights. It was stated that a coparcener's
daughter would be entitled to the coparcenary property by birth, exactly as it
is with the son, "on and from the beginning" of the Amendment Act, 2005. The
daughter will be subject to the same liabilities as that of boy.
The males won't be involved in managing the daughter's acquired property, and
the daughter is free to do anything she wants with her share. When a woman
passes away, her children will take over ownership of the property, not the
lineage of the husband. "There was a cancellation of succession as per
survivorship and there came a succession of testamentary succession and
intestate succession." The Hindu Succession Act underwent several changes and
grew more gender-neutral, but it did not grant women exclusive rights until an
amendment was made. India became a greater welfare state as a result of this
amendment, which became a cornerstone in sustaining constitutional values. In
the judgment of "Pandurang vs Pandurang", the court observed that Women are
also capable of becoming the family's head, or Karta. and if there is any
absence of men in the Joint Family, then women might overtake the charge.
The joint family structure was abolished in the state of Kerala with effect from
1976 according to "the Kerala Hindu family abolition Act, 1975". These all
demonstrate how far women have come in society. Compared to past times, society
currently has a different attitude toward women. Women who own property and
other assets are more powerful and should serve as role models. Because of these
new amendments, they flourished in society.
Rights Of Coparceners:
- Community of Interest:
Under normal circumstances, a coparcener can't claim an exclusive or
personal claim to the ancestral land. The legal right of obtaining
coparcenary property unites HUF members.
- Joint Possession:
Every member of the coparcenary has a right to enjoy ancestral property
equally among members.
- Doctrine of Survivorship and Unpredictability:
The doctrine of Survivorship refers to the division of property among the
surviving members. The no. of members changes in a family due to birth and
death. Thus, the no. of divisions among the property remains uncertain and
the share of each member can't be predicted over a period of time.
- Demand Partition:
It is the right of the coparcener to get his right in the property. And if
there is any delay or some obstruction in the partition process then the
coparcener may demand his right to the ancestral property from the Karta.
- Alienation of Property:
Karta alone has the authority to alienate joint family property.
Additionally, this is only carried out when it is required by law,
beneficial to the estate, or necessary to fulfil an unavoidable
responsibility. However, after partition, a member can alienate his property
in the way he wants.
"A coparcener is entitled to get the maintenance of the coparcenary property
from the estate of the family. The coparcener receives money from the
property for the maintenance of his wife, children or in case of a marriage
ceremony of the same children."
Hindu Coparcenery forms a very significant part of Succession and is an integral
part of a Joint Family. Coparcenery is formed by male members of different
generations and they generally share a common ancestral property. The concept of
a Joint Family or Hindu Undivided Family is equally integral and helps to
understand the basics of the Hindu family. There are different thoughts of Hindu
Law schools on the subject of inheritance. The concept of coparcenary was
liberalised through the 2005 amendment and provided many rights to the daughters
of the joint family. The amendment was perceived as a positive step towards
neutrality in the Succession and Inheritance aspect. There are many rights
guaranteed for the coparceners under the act. The Succession Act is in the right
direction for achieving Gender-neutrality.
- Income Tax Department, Government of India, URL:
- AIR 1953 ALL 150
- Sui Generis - Unique
- Law Bhoomi, URL: https://lawbhoomi.com/concept-of-coparcenary-under-hindu-law/#_ftn2,
(Last Visited – 25/08/2022)
- AIR 1847 Nag. 178
- 99 Acres, URL: https://www.99acres.com/articles/all-about-coparcener.html,
(Last Visited – 25/08/2022)