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Report No. 110

VI. Parsis

2.30. Developments relating to Parsis.-

Developments concerning the law of succession applicable to Parsis are, however, of interest and may be dealt with in some detail. As early as 1835, the Parsee community1 had represented that they were subjected to serious disadvantages in the absence of fixed written laws. The third Law Commission had, in its report expressed the view that the claim of the Parsees to have a separate law was not borne out. The Parsees, however, were not satisfied with this and, ultimately, in 1864 the Parsee Law Commission was appointed. That Commission made certain recommendations and the Government of India agreed with them.

1. M.P. Jain Indian Legal History, (1972), p. 560.

2.31. Parsees in mofussil-Scope.-

In the case of mofussil Parsees, it was almost impossible to ascertain with precision the Parsee customs, because on many points the Parsees of Surat, Broach, Poona and Ahmedabad differed from each other and all of them differed from the Parsees in Bombay1 The Parsees in the Presidency Towns were subject to the English law. The English law of primogeniture was not allowed to them through2 an Act of 1837. The English statute of distribution was, however, applied.

The Privy Council had already held that in the Supreme Courts, the Parsees could not claim the benefit of the English Ecclesiastical law as to the matrimonial causes among them. On the whole, the position was extremely unsatisfactory. The Parsee Law Commission recommended that a separate law should be enacted for the entire Parsee community in the Presidency Town as well as in the mofussil, as different systems of law applicable to the same community led to perplexity. Consequently, a separate Act governing intestate succession amongst the Parsees was passed. This has now been incorporated in sections 50-56 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

1. M.P. Jain Indian Legal History, (1972), p. 560.

2. Central Act 9 of 1837, Succession to Parsis Immovable Property Act (9 of 1837).

The Indian Succession Act, 1925 Back

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