Rules & Provisions of Inheritance Under Hindu Law

The article “Rules & Provisions of Inheritance Under Hindu Law” is written by Yashwardhan, a student of Lovely Professional University.


This quantitative research study was conducted to illustrate the inheritance norms and rules of Hindu law.

While other statutory laws were written by Jahar Lal Nehru in the early nineteenth century, Hindu Personal Law deals with Hindu Marriage, Inheritance, Succession, Divorce, and Maintenance, among other themes. For instance, the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 is a recent addition to the body of Hindu statutory law.

This study will focus on the establishment of this Act, its standards, and its inheritance rules under the Succession Act. In order to promote transparency, this study will also be discussed in terms of how succession and inheritance are related. The data analysis presented at the conclusion of this study demonstrated that Hindu Statutory law has significant inheritance provisions and rules that are employed to carry out Hindu personal laws.


The terms “success” and “inheritance” used in the Act refer to two separate ideas. Hindu law is divided into Dayabhaga and Mitaksara schools. Furthermore, there are differences between these two institutions’ succession laws and procedures. Therefore, inheritance and succession are complementary. Unlike now, when certain laws include provisions for the right to succession, there were no regulations governing women’s succession in the past.

The trait theory’s description of the laws governing inheritance and its historical context will be used in this assignment. The personal law of inheritance frequently deals with the transfer of property among blood relations. Additionally, there are rules and guidelines that make it more convenient for people for the properties to be decentralized.

Keywords: Transfer of property, Historical, Classification, Succession, Inheritance


These studies have relied on secondary data for their data. I gathered these facts from books, websites, Acts, and lectures given by professors.


To illustrate the definition of Inheritance we can say that, Inheritance refers to the assets that an individual bequeaths to his or her loved ones after he or she passes away. An inheritance may contain cash, investments such as stocks or bonds, and other assets such as jewellery, automobiles, art, antiques, and real estate.

Understanding the Basics of Family Law

According to D.F. Mulla, “the law of inheritance comprises of rules which govern the devolution of property, on the death of the person, upon other persons solely on account of their relationship with the former.”

Black’s law dictionary defines Inheritance as “receipt of a property from an ancestor under the laws of intestacy.” Or it can be marked as a gradual process of decentralization of property and belongings.

Application of rules and provisions of inheritance:

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, stands out in the history of social legislation as a significant addition to control the succession system and inheritance under Hindu law. Reforms of consequences in the system of inheritance and succession have been made, and this is crucial. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, which went into effect on June 17, 1956, was passed by the legislature in accordance with Rau’s Committee’s recommendation to gradually codify Hindu law.

Due to the fact that traditional Hindu law did not allow for testamentary succession, the Hindu’s Will Act of 1870 gave Hindus the ability to dispose of their property. The Succession Act, 1925, which today controls the testamentary succession among Hindus, reenacted the terms of the Hindu’s Will Act, 1870 with certain revisions.

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956’s Section 30 permits this.

This Succession Act upholds the legal transfer of all property owned by those who live under Hindu personal law or who are otherwise referred to as Hindus. It covers the entirety of [Bangladesh], but it only applies to individuals who, but for the passage of this Act, would have been bound by Mitakshara and Dayabhaga law with regard to the provisions herein enacted. It also only applies to individuals who fall under this category with regard to male property that is not held in coparcenary or distributed by will.

Classification of Inheritance

As there are two different schools of Hindu law, there are two different ways in which inheritance has evolved.

These two schools are Mitakshara and Dayabhaga.

Survivorship: The property after the death of the common ancestor devolves by the survivor. The sons of the family have a birth right in the property by virtue of the following two rules:

  • Females will not inherit.
  • Agnates to be preferred over cognates.

These rules have made the Mitakshara School reactionary.

Succession: In case of separate, self-acquired and property held absolutely by the coparcener, the rules of succession apply.

Classes of Heirs Under Mitakshara School:

  • Sapindas;
  • Samanodakas;

In Dayabhaga School: Under Dayabhaga School, only one mode of devolution is recognized, i.e., succession.

And it recognized three kinds of heirs namely:

  • Sapindas;
  • Sakulyas;

Comparative Approach of Inheritance

Inheritance is typically passed down in one of two ways among Hindus. The Dayabhaga and The Mitakshara. Consanguinity was acknowledged as the basis for succession in the Mitakshara school, but religious exclusivity was the standard for inheritance and succession in the Dayabhaga school.

Historical Backdrop of Inheritance

History of Inheritance in Hindu Law: The length of inheritance depends on the manner in which property is transferred, the relationships between Sapindas, and other factors. Hindu society has always been characterized by joint and undivided families; an undivided Hindu family often shares not just in the estate but also in the meals and devotion.

The joint family arrangement is the oldest in terms of historical precedent. As opposed to property owned by Mitakshara joint family, the law of inheritance of subsequent growth and, generally, only applies to property held in absolute severalty by the last owner. The interest that a Hindu, ruled by any school of law other than the Dayabhaga or by customary law, possessed in joint family property, however, developed following his death on his widow once the Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act of 1937 came into effect. Additionally, section 6 of the Succession Act, 1956, which came into effect in 1956, governs the position.

The Succession Act codified and published on 17th June, 1956. It was an essential substitution in Hindu law after the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

Statutory directions of Inheritance Under Hindu law:

As previously said, there are statute laws. The Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act of 1937, the Succession Act of 1956, the Hindu’s Will Act of 1870, the Hindu Disposition of Property Act of 1916, the Succession Act of 1925, and the Hindu Inheritance Act of 1928 all regulate the handling of personal matters and the resolution of disputes relating to succession and inheritance.

The Succession Act 1956

This codifies the law governing intestate succession, also known as an unwilled succession, among Sikhs, Jains, Hindus, and Buddhists. A unified, comprehensive system of inheritance and succession is established under the Act. The Act eliminates the finite estate of the Hindu woman. Any property a Hindu woman has is to be treated as absolute property, giving her complete control to manage it and dispose of it however she pleases. The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 changed several portions of this Act in 2005. The Act distinguishes between two categories of heirs.

Class I heirs are sons, daughters, widows and grandchildren. Class II heirs are categorized as follows and are given the property of the deceased in the following order:

  •     Father
  •     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.

 Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1928

The Hindu Inheritance (Removal of Disabilities) Act, 1928 was passed to end the exclusion of certain kinds of heirs from inheritance and to dispel some misconceptions about their capacity to inherit wealth. The Act states that, unless the law provides otherwise, people with diseases, deformities, or physical or mental disabilities are not prohibited from owning or sharing joint-family property. The traditional Hindu legal principle that peoples with disabilities are not entitled to inherit property from their families is effectively abolished by this Act.

Hindu Women’s right to property Act 1937

An Act to Modify Hindu Law Regarding Hindu Women’s Property Rights. If a Hindu dies intestate and leaves a widow, despite any rule of Hindu Law or custom to the contrary, the provisions of section 3 shall apply. According to section 3 of this act:

  1. Subject to the provisions of sub-section (3), a Hindu governed by the Dayabhaga School of Hindu Law who dies intestate leaving any property, and a Hindu governed by any other school of Hindu Law or by customary law who dies intestate leaving separate property, shall be entitled to the same share of the property in respect of which he dies intestate as a son.
  2. With the proviso that the widow of a predeceased son shall inherit in the same manner as a son if no son of such predeceased son survives, and shall inherit in the same manner as a son’s son if such predeceased son survives a son or son’s son:

With the additional proviso that the widow of a predeceased son of a predeceased son shall be subject to the same rule mutatis mutandis.

  1. Subject to the limitations of subsection (3), the widow of a Hindu who was governed by a

school of Hindu law other than the Dayabhaga School or by customary law at the time of his death shall have the same interest in the property as he himself had.

  1. Any interest that passes to a Hindu widow as a result of the provisions of this section shall be

the constrained interest known as a Hindu Woman’s estate; nonetheless, she shall have the same right to partition as a male owner.

  1. This section’s provisions do not apply to any estate that passes to a single heir in accordance with a grant’s terms or another rule of succession, or to any property to which the Succession Act of 1925 is applicable.

Some Cases regarding Hindu Succession Act

  1. Sampathkumari vs M. Lakshmi Ammal and Ors. on 26 October, 1961 held in Madras High court. The remedies of this case where the plaintiff’s suit must fail because of Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, even taking the plaint allegations to be true. Section 14 contains that,
  2. “Any property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as a limited owner. Explanation.—In this sub-section, “property” includes both movable and immovable property acquired by a female Hindu by inheritance or devise, or at a partition, or in lieu of maintenance or arrears of maintenance, or by gift from any person, whether a relative or not, before, at or after her marriage, or by her own skill or exertion, or by purchase or by prescription, or in any other manner whatsoever, and also any such property held by her as stridhana immediately before the commencement of this Act.”

Renuka Bala Chatterji vs Aswini Kumar Gupta and Ors. on 27 June, held 1961 in patna High court. The remedies for this case were the result, therefore, is that none of the contentions of learned counsel for the appellant succeeds. The appeal is therefore, dismissed but, in view of the circumstances of the case and the legal points involved in it, there will be no order for costs in this Court. And the section involved it this case is: section 8, section 15 and 14.


In conclusion, the Succession Act 1956, Hindu Inheritance Act 1928, and Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act 1937 all elaborate on the laws and procedures of inheritance under Hindu law. The historical context of Hindu law has also been well described. Additionally, the rights to inherit and dissolve property have been thoroughly explained.

Study Material

  1. Andrew Bloomenthal. “Inheritance.” Investopedia, “Coparcenary in India: It’s Past, Present and Future.” Academike, 3 Feb. 2015
  2. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.
  3. “Inheritance under Hindu Law.” Lawyersclubindia,–4148.asp.
  4. “The Hindu Law of Inheritance (Amendment) Act, 1929.”,
  6. On Hindu women’s right to property. (2019, May 28). The Daily Star.
  7. The Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act, 1937. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2021, from
  8. (n.d.).
  9. (n.d.).
  10. (n.d.).


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