The term “succession” describes a circumstance in which a person receives a title or property from his ancestors. When there is an intestate transaction, or a transfer of property by application of law, succession rules are relevant. Different personal laws govern succession in India. These laws include the Indian Succession Act of 1925, Muslim law that applies exclusively to Muslims, and Hindu law that applies only to Hindus.
The word “intestate transaction” refers to succession laws, which take effect upon the death of the last property holder without a will, gift, or other arrangement directing how the property is to be executed. In the event that the final holder leaves a will, that will govern how the property is divided.
In India, it is assumed that whatever laws are followed for marriage purposes would also apply for property distribution, maintenance, and divorce. For example, if the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956 is used for marriage, then Hindu Laws will also rule divorce, maintenance, and property division. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 would also govern these matters.
India's succession laws have changed throughout time. Before 1956, many schools of Hindu law followed customary rules. These laws were codified as Hindu rules in 1956 and covered regulations pertaining to marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption, and succession. Over time, these laws were amended to reflect changes in society.
In particular, the legislative body changed several clauses of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in 2005. Before the 2005 amendment, daughters were not regarded as coparceners and were not awarded property during the division of the property or during intestate transfers because the act only allowed sons to inherit the property, not daughters, a provision that changed over time. Daughters are now deemed coparceners, just like boys, and are entitled to inheritance according to the 2005 amendment.
Not only has the Hindu Succession Act evolved, but the Indian Succession Act has also seen amendments that favor daughters and sons equally rather than giving sons the whole advantage. This study also attempts to evaluate the Indian succession rules as they are now in effect.