Report No. 247
Sections 41 to 48 of the Indian Succession Act, 1925 - Proposed Reforms
Christianity is the third most populous religion in India. Indian Christians, though united in the essence of their faith, are diverse in their practices, rites and religion across the country. Though uniformity among the Roman Catholic Church is more or less maintained, the indigenous influence has made Christianity in India unique and different from its form in many other countries across the World.
Almost all varieties of Christianity are believed to reside in India though the most common groups are from the Roman Catholic Church, Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the Protestant Churches like the Church of South India, the Marthoma Syrian Church, the Presbyterian Church of India and so on. During early period Christianity was considered to be a foreign reception and imposition in Indian context. However, with the passage of time Indian Christianity has become integral part of Indian culture itself and has come to be understood as an indigenous appropriation of Christian experience and not a foreign implant.1
1 Selva J Raj, Corrine Dempsey, Popular Christianity in India: Riting Between the Lines, 2002, p. 3.
Therefore, as result of above the family law governing Christians in India is varied. Synergetic influences have led to cultural variations that have gained legal recognition either statutorily or judicially. This has led to multiplicity in application of laws whereas ambiguity most noticeable is in the laws of succession for Christians. It is this multiplicity and ambiguity that led to enactment of the Indian Succession Act, 1865 and finally the Indian Succession Act, 1925.