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Report No. 207

4. Self-Acquired Property - A Grey Area

4.1 The term 'property' though not specified in this Section means property of the deceased heritable under the Act. It includes both movable and immovable property owned and acquired by her by inheritance or by devise or at a partition or by gift or by her skill or exertion or by purchase or prescription.

The Section does not differentiate between the property inherited and self acquired property of a Hindu female it only prescribes that if a property is inherited from husband or father-in-law, it would go to her husband's heirs and if the property is inherited from her father or mother, in that case, the property would not go to her husband's but to the heirs of the father and mother.

4.2 This Section, has not clearly enumerated and considered about succession of a female Hindu property where it is selfacquired. Or to put it this way, the Legislators did not contemplate that Hindu females would be in later years would be having self-acquired property and in certain cases where her heirs in the first category fail, the property would devolve totally upon her husband's heirs who may be very remotely related as the compared to her own father's heirs.

4.3 This is very aptly illustrated by the following illustration:- A married Hindu female dies intestate leaving the property which is her self-acquired property. She has no issue and was a widow at the time of her death. As per the present position of law, her property would devolve in the second category i.e. to her husband's heirs. Thus, in a case where the mother of her husband is alive, her whole property would devolve on her mother-in-law.

If the mother-in-law is also not alive, it would devolve as per the rules laid down in case of a male Hindu dying intestate i.e. if the father of her deceased husband is alive, the next to inherit will be her father-in-law and if in the third category if the father-in-law is also not alive, then her property would devolve on the brother and sister of the deceased husband.

4.4 Thus, in case of the self-acquired property of a Hindu married female dying intestate, her property devolves on her husband's heirs. Her paternal and maternal heirs do not inherit but the distant relations of her husband would inherit as her husband's heirs.

Proposal to amend Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 in case a female dies Intestate leaving herSelf Acquired Property with no heirs. Back

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