Hindu Succession Act 1956

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Prior to 1956 Act, the ancient Indian law regarding succession of property and co-parcenery system was very rigid and patriarchic in nature. The laws of succession of ancient and traditional form remained in application without any substantial reforms till the middle of the nineteenth century. It derived its authority from Manusmriti in which Manu said that three persons, a wife, a son and a slave are declared by law to have in general no wealth exclusively their own; the wealth which they may earn is regularly acquired for the man to whom they belong . Several difficulties and complications, however, came in the way owing mainly due to the differences in the law of inheritance amongst the two major schools of Hindu Law viz. the Mitakshara…show more content…
The provisions regarding succession in the Hindu Code Bill, as originally framed by the B.N.Rau Committee and piloted by Dr.Ambedkar, were for abolishing the Mitakshara coparcenary with its concept of survivorship and the son's right by birth in a joint family property and substituting it with the principle of inheritance by succession. These proposals met with a storm of conservative opposition. The most contested area was women’s property rights . There was strong opposition among the congress itself against conferring inheritance rights to daughters. The Congress legislator from West Bengal argued that only women of the lavender, lipstick and vanity bag variety were interested in the Bill . However, the tyranny of the majority prevailed when the Bill was finally passed in 1956. The retention of the Mitakshara coparcenary without including females in it meant that females couldn’t inherit ancestral property as males do. So inequality continued in the matter of property rights even after the commencement of the Constitution…show more content…
The Commission had taken up the aforesaid subject suo motu in view of the pervasive discrimination prevalent against women in relation to laws governing the inheritance/succession of property amongst the members of a joint Hindu family. The Commission has also taken into consideration the changes carried out by way of State. Another reason for the 2005 amendment was also to put a rest to the judicially pronounced ambiguous judgments and to clarify the progressive position of the women in the Joint Hindu Family. Some of these judgments are: In C.P. Berai v. Laxmi Narayan , It was held that a widow could be a karta in the absence of adult male members in the family. It was said that the true test is not who transferred/incurred the liability, but whether the transaction was justified by necessity. Another case of Sushila Devi Rampura v. Income tax Officer held that where the male members are minors, their natural guardian is their mother. The mother can represent the HUF for the purpose of assessment and recovery of income

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