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Section 15 – The Hindu Succession Act, 1956

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956

 

15. General rules of succession in the case of female Hindus.-

 

(1) The property of a female Hindu dying intestate shall devolve according to the rules set out in section 16,-

 

(a) firstly, upon the sons and daughters (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) and the husband.

 

(b) secondly, upon the heirs of the husband.

 

(c) thirdly, upon the heirs of the father, and

 

(d) fourthly, upon the heirs of the father, and

 

(e) lastly, upon the heirs of the mother.

 

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),-

 

(a) any property inherited by a female Hindu from her father or mother shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) not upon the other heirs referred to in sub-section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the father, and

 

(b) any property inherited by a female Hindu from her husband or from her father-in-law shall devolve, in the absence of any son or daughter of the deceased (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter ) not upon the other heirs referred to in sub-section (1) in the order specified therein, but upon the heirs of the husband.

 

COMMENTS

 

Extent

 

(i) When a female inherits property from her brother, inheritance to it is governed by section 15(1) of the Act 1956; Balasaheb v. Jaimala, AIR 1978 Bom 44.

 

(ii) Son and daughter include son and daughter by natural birth legitimate or illegitimate; Gurbachan v. Khichar Singh, AIR 1971 Punj 240.

 

Succession on death of Hindu female

 

(i) The object of section 15(2) is to ensure that the property left by a Hindu female does not lose the real source from where the deceased female had inherited the property, one has no option but to hold that son or daughter (including the children of any pre-deceased son or daughter) of such a Hindu female will mean the son or daughter begotten by the Hindu female from the husband whose property she had inherited, and not the son or daughter whom she had begotten from a husband other than the one, whose property she had inherited. If such property is allowed to be drifted away from the source through which the deceased female has actually inherited the property, the object of section 15(2) will be defeated; Dhanistha Kalita v. Ramakanta Kalita, AIR 2003 Gau 92.

 

(ii) Hindu female inherited property from her deceased husband. If the property is allowed to be inherited by a son or daughter, whom the deceased female had begotten not through her husband, whose property it was, but from some other husband then, section 15(2)(b) will become meaningless and redundant; Dhanistha Kalita v. Ramakanta Kalita, AIR 2003 Gau 92.

 

(iii) The intent of the Legislature is clear that the property, if originally belonged to the parents of the deceased female, should go to the legal heirs of the father. So also under clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 15, the property inherited by a female Hindu from her husband or her father-in-law, shall also under similar circumstances, devolve upon the heirs of the husband. It is the source from which the property was inherited by the female, which is more important for the purpose of devolution of her property. The fact that a female Hindu originally had a limited right and later acquired the full right, in any way, would not alter the rules of succession given in sub-section (2) of section15; Bhagat Ram (D) by L.Rs. v. Teja Singh (D) by L.Rs., AIR 2002 SC 1.

 

(iv) The mother became an absolute owner of the property which she inherited from her husband after his death in 1950 but after the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 came in force, before 1956 her interest being limited. Hence, it has been held that the property after the death of the mother shall be inherited by her son and daughter under section 15(1)(a) and not under any other provision of law; Debahari Kumbhar v. Sribatsa Patra, AIR 1994 Ori 86.

 

 

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The Hindu Succession Act, 1956

 

 

Indian Laws – Bare Acts

 

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