Legal Guide

Everything About the Hindu law of property

by Bhavya Choudhary · 4 min read

Hindu law of property

Introduction

  • The Hindu Succession Act 1956 and its laws operate the intestate succession of the Hindu community. 
  • Earlier, women were not a part of the ancestral property, but after the amendment of 2005, daughters were a part of the HUF and could be a Coparcener as per the new Hindu law of property.
  • Any matter related to inheritance and succession is under the Hindu law of property as it divides the parts into equal shares if there is no will available for distribution.

Application of the Hindu law of property

As per the Hindu law of property that is the Hindu Succession Act 1956, it applies to some communities as follows:

  • The Hindu law of property applies to any person of the same religion as a Hindu. This includes Virashaiva, Brahma, Lingayat, Arya Samaj, and Prarthna Samaj followers are also qualified for this activity regulation.
  • Any individual who belongs to the Sikh, Jain, or Buddhist community.
  • Any individual other than the Muslim, Parsi, Jew, or Christian, and if they are not from this community and it’s proved by some evidence.
  • The Hindu law of property is applicable all over India and can regulate Successional disputes.

This section 2 is not applied to any Scheduled tribes as these are sought after by Article 366 of the designated constitution or regulated by the Central Government for any case.

Qualification as a Hindu, Jain, Sikh, or Buddhist

  • The child can be legitimate or illegitimate, the only condition being that it should belong to a Hindu, Sikh, Jain, or Buddhist community as per the Hindu law of property.
  • The parents should be from the above-mentioned communities, and the child should be of the same development and community as per the Hindu law of property.
  • Any individual who is converted or reconverted to these communities falls under the regulation of the Hindu law of property.

What are the types of Succession?

There are two ways to distribute according to the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

  1. Testamentary Succession:
  • This happened when the owner had executed a will while they were alive, and the will come into effect after their demise.
  • The property is distributed among the names mentioned in the will as per their share, which is also stated in the will, and it can be registered too after the document verification is completed.
  • No successor can claim anything different than what is mentioned in the will. This ensures rightful justice to each successor as per the Indian Succession Act or the Hindu law of property.
  1. Intestate Succession:
  • In this type of Succession, there is no will, and the property is distributed in equal parts among the successors or heirs of the deceased person.
  • There is no need to claim or enforce any rights here as all the heirs are entitled to an equal share, and this cannot be revoked.
  • If by any chance there is unjust division, the individual can talk to a lawyer online and file a lawsuit against the distributor. This is modified and regulated by the Hindu law of property.

Distribution of the Class Heirs

There is a division sought for the inheritance if any male member of the family passes away.

  • Class 1: It includes mother, children, wife, children of any deceased children, or their spouse. This takes place in the Intestate Succession, and if the owner has left behind a will, the Indian Succession act is applied. 
  • Class 2: This class comes after the immediate family of the testator. If no one from class 1 is present, then the class 2 heirs will get equal shares in the property if no will is left behind. The first identified relative is given more priority in this case over others if there are no class 1 heirs.
  • Cognates (when class 2 heirs are not present)
  • Agnates (if cognates are not present)

Rules of preference for Agnates

  • The generations are referred to as a degree where usually the first one is intestate.
  • The ancestral degree is applied.
  • Descendants or downward direction relatives or generation rule is applied in the degree of descent.
  • If the agnates have both the degree of ascent and descent, then it is considered applicable separately.
  • The descent degree for agnate is the more preferred.

The Amendment Act of 2005

  • The Hindu law of property did not allow daughters to have a part of the inheritance after marriage, according to the previously made Hindu law of property.
  • This was redefined and amended recently, and women’s rights were upheld, and they were allowed to sign the land documents to sell or own it.
  • The daughter who was married is now entitled to their father’s property share, just like their brothers. 
  • This was a very necessary step brought about through the impact of oppression of women’s rights, and the needful was done by allowing daughters to have their part or share in the land documents.
  • The discrimination in the distribution of the Hindu law of property ended as the Union government worked hard to bring the right to equality into shape. Section 6 was amended, and the daughters were given the same rights as sons.
  • As per the Hindu law of property, any heir becomes a coparcener and has their part in property by birth. Now it’s the same as a legal heir entitled to daughters too.

Conclusion

The property is divided into shares as four class divisions are used to distribute an asset. The person can take help from a lawyer online if they feel the division was unjust and they hadn’t received a proper share, as mentioned in the Hindu law of property.

The matters related to property inheritance can be complex, sometimes, so taking legal consultation from a property expert lawyer will solve their queries and bring justice to their part in the inheritance.

Bhavya Choudhary

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Bhavya Choudhary

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