Natural Disqualification from Succession under Hindu Personal Laws

Deergh Uppal

The succession laws refer to the legal rules regulating the transfer of the properties of a deceased person. This involve the order in which a person succeeds in the property/estate of the deceased person in preference to any or one person after another or any person in particular sharing with any other person.

In this, corporate individuals with permanent life are not protected and have different Winding up, Reorganization and Closure rules.

These laws are for the benefit of the people which are rooted in society. In particular, they have a clear background on family law qualifications. Family law is a law that deals with questions relating to family matters.

There is a completely arbitrary aspect of the compass of family law. The Hindu Succession Act 1956 is one of the most important components of family law. Basically, this Act came with the purpose of providing Hindus with an all-inclusive and uniform scheme of un-devised succession.

There are laws related to disqualification, as under the Hindu Succession Act 1956, which states that what an old Hindu law and current Hindu law briefly asseverate about it is. There are several disqualification-related rules. In accordance with Hindu law, a person’s natural endowment rights are not absolute.

Despite the proximity of the interconnection, an individual may still be excluded from inheriting land, from delineating his or her some physical or mental frailty, or from specific behaviour. This inheritance barrier was not based on religious grounds, but on moral grounds.

One of the most notable concepts behind the evolution of family law was largely to provide the participants with consistent sound protection. The fundamental state of Hindu society is the single and undivided Hindu family.

The senior male is usually seen here as a guardian member of the family who overlooks the issues relevant to any problem. However, women are empowered with fewer rights under conventional Hindu law and are deemed to be acquiescent to the male member of the family.

INHERITENCE UNDER TRADITIONAL HINDU LAW

Dharma Shastra shows a very expedient strategy and accepts it ultimately and on a variety of grounds. Dharma Shastra is committed to safeguarding the rights of various parts of society.

Since, Hindu society has always been a patriarchal society, a male member of the family’s property rights has always been deemed to be more important than a female member. In addition, the constraints that our existing patriarchal systems found acceptable were imposed on women.

The family members strongly believed that if women were granted equal treatment, their marriage responsibilities and domestic roles would be mistreated. There were numerous problems and opinions that emerged the inheritance issues among the Hindus before the codification of Hindu law, and with the spare of time, these comments gradually gave them individual characteristics.

As far as the rights of the sonless wife to inherit the property are considered, Mitakshara clearly laid down the theory that his husband’s estate can be readily inherited by the sonless women, which means that if she has been divorced from the family, the assets would be obtained independently by her.

RULES OF SUCCESSION IN MALE

In the case of males, Section 8 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 deals with the general rule of succession. In accordance with certain provisions listed below, any assets of Hindu male dying intestate shall be delegated

Firstly, the relative mentioned under Schedule of Class 1 is the heirs.

Second, if no heir of any of the class exists, then the agnate of the deceased.

GROUNDS OF DISQUALIFICATION

  • WIDOW’S REMARRIAGE

Section 24 of the 1956 Hindu Succession Act states that, “those widows who remarry may not inherit like a widow.” As the widow of a predeceased son or widow of a brother, a person who is in a partnership with an intestate will not be entitled to inherit the property of the estate as a widow if she has remarried on the date of succession.

In such a basis, the inheritance already given to the widows on their remarriage was disposed of.In such a case, the inheritance already given to the widows on their remarriage was disposed of.

As in law, remarriage incapacitates a gotrajasapinda’s widow from succeeding on the day the succession arrives to the property of a male Hindu Under the law, some of the family’s state that, if they had married before the succession, they had excluded them from inheriting the property of the deceased instates.

Under the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856, if they remarried before death, only three categories of women were barred from inheriting the estate.

  • Son’s widow
  • Son’s Son’s widow
  • Brother’s widow

Despite all explanations, women should not be excluded from inheriting the house. Intestate women, however, could also be disqualified because remarriage of intestate widow women could not be excluded until open succession occurs.

Since, if she married a person for the second time, her marriage will be declared invalid because there is no marriage in a void marriage statute. In these parts, even though she had married before the intestate death, she still remains a member of the intestate kin.

Case Law

The Supreme Court in Smt. Kasturi Devi v. Consolidation Director held that on the grounds of remarriage, a mother should not be deprived of her enthusiasm for the properties. The clause determining a widowed daughter-in-disqualification law’s to succeed is based on the spouse’s holy and deep friendship with her husband.

When she separates the relationship between remarrying and joining another family, she ends up being prohibited from obtaining the property or entitled to keep the property she obtained. However, the equivalent can’t be said of a mother.

She is absolutely in an alternative role, which is why the Hindu law did not provide that even the mother would be exempt on the off chance that she would remarry.

Since the progression has opened, any consequent remarriage would not refuse a widow the bid she just received as a beneficiary. The region has no direct impact on the widow of the widow of the intestate or the spouse of the widow.

It was held by the Patna High Court that on her remarriage thereon, a Hindu widow dominating the properties left by her husband as a widow after the passage of the Hindu Succession Act will not be divested of the said properties.

·         MURDERER DISQUALIFIED

This comes under section 25 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This Section specifies that any person committing the murder or aiding the murder shall be excluded from inheriting the person’s property or any estate of which he or she has committed the murder as part of the promotion to succession.

As such, if any person is found guilty of the murder of the deceased intestine, he or she shall forfeit his or her rights to inherit the property of the deceased.

The requirement of the delivery statue is paramount and any disqualification that does not include that statue, was discombobulated by the Privy Judicial Committee, is prohibited.

Case Law

In Vallikanna v. R. Singaperumal, it was held to be absolutely disqualified by a person who has murdered his father or a person from whom he wants to gain. Section 27 of the Hindu Succession Act further guarantees that if any individual is excluded under this Act from possessing any land, it would be treated as if that individual had died before the intestine.

This indicates that on the record, a person who has murdered a person from whom he wants to gain the estate is ineligible. This ensures that he would be known as having pre-deceased him.

The outcome of Section 25 read in Section 27 of the 1956 Hindu Succession Act is that a murderer is absolutely excluded from the deceased’s estate. That ensures that a person responsible for committing the murder should not be treated to have any connection with the estate of the deceased at all.

·         CONVERSION

Section 26 disqualifies the descendants of the converts and the children born to such descendants from inheriting all of their Hindu relatives’ lands. But if they are Hindus at the moment when the succession opens, the offspring or descendants of those children born after their conversion are not influenced by the law.

It is important to note that the converts were not barred from inheriting; only their descendants or children of descendants were disqualified from inheriting if they did not remain Hindu at the time of the opening of the farm. The provision is historical in operation and refers even to all people who were converted prior to the beginning of this Act.

Illustration-

Therefore, where ‘X’ has three sons, ‘Y’ ‘Z and’ ‘L’ and ‘L’ are converted to Christianity during X’s lifetime. On the death of X, ‘L’ along with ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ would be entitled to claim a share. In compliance with Section 26 of the Act, he would not be excluded from inheriting and would receive a 1/3 share of the property of ‘X’.

If D dies after conversion during the life of ‘X’ leaving behind him his two sons ‘M’ and ‘N’, born to him after conversion,’ M’ and ‘N’ will be exempt from inheritance in the above example.

  • DISEASE, DEFECT or DEFORMITY NOT TO DISQUALIFY

Physical deficiency or loss of organ, deafness, dumbness, congenital and incurable blindness, leprosy, etc., mental disability such as lunacy, idiocy, etc. became the reasons for inheritance exclusion under the old Hindu law.

All the disqualifications excluding lunacy or idiocy have been abolished by the Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1928.

Section 28 of the Act has ruled that the reasons of removal from inheritance are not disabilities, disorders, deformities, etc. Under the Act, the only disqualifications are those listed in Sections 24 to 26.

  • DISSENT
  1. STEPMOTHER SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED

Clause 28 in the original Hindu succession Bill 13 of 1954, “Father’s widow” was used in Section 24 of Hindu Succession Law. So if the widow’s father had remarried, then she was excluded from her inheritance.

But “father’s widow” has been omitted in the revised Bill and in the Act, and the reason behind this is that both mother and stepmother are included in the father’s widow and mother is entitled to inherit the property in her own right and not as a father’s widow, and so her remarriage should have no effect.

  1. UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO MURDER

The scope of section 25 is surprisingly remarkable and is very well drafted to involve either an intestate or another person’s murderer or abettor of murder for the promotion of such property.

The provision disqualifies a murderer or abettor from inheriting the property of the deceased, but it does not involve the entity who has attempted to kill the intestate or any other person for property advancement, but has failed to do so in any manner, resulting in an unsuccessful attempt.

Therefore, even a failed attempt at murder should still be included in the scope of the provision in order to satisfy the intent of the section and on the basis of justice, equity and good faith.

  1. UNCHASTITY OF WIDOW

Unchastity was a reason for disqualification under old Hindu law and it was based on the grounds of family prestige, social cohesion and ethics. However, section 28 expressly stipulates that no individual shall be excluded from the succession of any estate on any other basis other than those clearly alluded to in that Act.

Unchastity has not been expressly applied to in Hindu Succession Law as a ground of disqualification, and so it is no longer a ground of disqualification as per Section 28.

CONCLUSION

As the principle of “equality” in an unjust society, is equated with the same treatment as necessary. Sections 24 to 28 deal with the rule of disqualification under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and with due regard to these sections, a person can be disqualified only in the case of remarriage by a few widows specifically as defined under the Provision, when a person commits a murder for the promotion of the property and when a person is a descendant of the convert.

Only in such cases will an individual be barred from inheriting the land, all the rest fall under all Hindu laws that are now abolished.

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