Succession to the property of a Hindu Male – Hindu Succession Act 1956

Hindu succession act 1956

Generally succession refers to  succeeding or following but in the context of hindu succession act it means succeeding or passing of rights of property from one to another.

Hindu succession act,1956 enforced and enacted from 17 june,1956. Also amendment has been done in 2005 as Hindu Succession amendment act 2005 introducing the concept of notional partition ( daughter rights under succession of property).

Under hindu law, there are four types in which property among hindu being divided 

For example

  • Joint Family Property( CONCEPT OF KARTA AND HINDU UNDIVIDED FAMILY)
  • Separate property ( NO ANCESTRAL PROPERTY)
  • Testamentary Succession (WILL) 
  • Intestate Succession(WITHOUT WILL)

But , under hindu succession act 1956 act it deals with the rules and regulations relating to intestate succession among hindus

Succession to the Property of a Hindu Male 

Section 8 of the hindu succession act 1956 defines general rules of succession in the case of males.

Generally when a male dies without making any will then the property of the deceased divides among the hierarchy of the  following

  • CLASS I HEIRS ( male female succeed to instate ‘s property)
  • CLASS II HEIRS 
  • AGNATES (  wholly related by blood or adoption)
  • COGNATES ( not wholly related by blood or adoption)

[Note; 

Under section 3 defines heirs , agnates, cognate of hindu succession act 1956]

CLASS I HEIRS;-

After the death of male , the intestate succession of the property will first transfers to the class heirs in the following order only ..

MOTHER

Includes 

  • natural mother of male
  • Adoptive mother of male ( excludes natural mother)
  • Mother can transfer the share to illegitimate son  ( acc to section 3(1) (j)

SON, DAUGHTER

  • Legitimate children
  • Adopted children
  • Children born out of void/voidable marriages will known as legitimate son 

( acc to section 16 of HMA,1956)

WIDOW

In case before the enforcement of HMA 1955 in a marriage after the death o male there are more than one widow then they will inherit one share jointly. 

 In case the widow remarries after his death then also she is entitled to inherit from ex-husband’s property.

Widow of the pre deceased son; widow of predeceased son of a predeceased son;

If there is one  share  including the share of children of the predeceased son shall be not more than the share of the predeceased son.

Son/daughter of a predeceased son/daughter;

son/daughter of a pre- deceased son/daughter of a predeceased son/daughter;

  • Under the succession of  predeceased son, the widow (or widows together) and the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions among the heirs
  • Under the succession of the predeceased daughter, so that the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions.

CLASS II HEIRS 

In case there is no one from class 1 heir then the property will be transferred to the members included under class 2 heir in the following hierarchy.

  • Father.

[Adoptive father, 

Father is not entitled to property from illegitimate son unlike mother

Entitled to inherit property from children born out of void and voidable marriages]

  • Son’s / daughter’s son
  • Son’s / daughter’s daughter
  • Brother
  • Sister
  • Daughter’s / son’s son
  • Daughter’s / son’s daughter
  • Daughter’s / daughter’s son
  • Daughter’s /daughter’s daughter
  • Brother’s son
  • Sister’s son
  • Brother’s daughter
  • Sister’s daughter
  •  Father’s father; father’s mother.
  •  Father’s widow; brother’s widow.
  •  Father’s brother; father’s sister.
  •  Mother’s father; mother’s mother.
  • Mother’s brother; mother’s sister.

Agnates

When hindu male dies without will and there is no one from the class 1&2 heirs then the intestate succession of the property will be done among agnates or we can say the any relative from male side

Section 3 (1) (a) defines

 Agnate” – one person is said to be an “agnate” of another if the two are related by blood or adoption wholly through males;

  • Widows are not included under Agnates of the intestate . 
  • In the degree of relationship there is no limit by which an agnate is recognized, Hence, an agnate however remotely related to the intestate may succeed as an heir.
  • Under cognates relationship it does not distinguish between male and female heirs.
  • There is also no distinction between those related by full and half blood. 
  • However, uterine relationships are not recognized.

Cognates

When hindu male dies without will and there is no one from the class 1&2 heirs and from agnates categorized members then the intestate succession of the property will be done among cognates or we can say the any relative from female side

Section 3 (1) (c) “cognate” – one person is said to be a cognate of another if the two are related by blood or adoption but not wholly through males;

  • In case of Cognate ,intervention in the line of succession is by one or more females as long as there is at least one female intervening, it is a cognate relationship
  • Cognate relationships are only based on blood or adoption but  not based on marriage and Hence widow or widowers of those related by cognate relationship do not fall under this category
  • Therefore, they are not entitled to succeed on this ground.

Case law 

Jayalakshmi Ammal And Ors. vs T.V. In The Ganesa iyer case of 1971 it was decided by the bench that there is no bar For the mother For inheriting Property or her share from her son. In case she  is divorced or remarried then also she is entitled to inherit her share from her son in case of intestate succession 

Summary

Hindu succession act 1956 deals with succession of property when the male dies without will also known as intestate succession. The intestate succession took place in the following: Class 1 heirs if there is no one than among class 2 heirs if there is no one from class 1&2 heirs then among agnates ( make lineage relatives ) finally of there is no from the three of the categories then to cognates( female lineage relatives)

Author: Tanveen Kaur,
Chandigarh university/2 year/law student

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