Report No. 247
Indian Succession Act, 1925
Today the Indian Succession Act, 1925 is the principal legislative measure in India dealing with the substantive law of testamentary succession in regard to persons other than Muslims and intestate succession in regard to persons other than Hindus and Muslims. It is also the principal legislative measure dealing with machinery of succession in regard to the testamentary and intestate succession in respect of such persons.
In fact, it needs to be underscored that the Act of 1925 as already mentioned is a consolidating Act. It is only an amending Act and has only consolidated several pre-existing Central Acts passed between 1841 and 1903 without introducing any material changes. In fact, the framers of the Act stated thus- "The subject of this bill is to consolidate the Indian Law relating to succession; the separate existence on the statute book of a number of large and important enactments renders the present law difficult of ascertainment and there is, therefore, every justification for an attempt to consolidate it.
The bill has been prepared by the Statute Law Revision Committee as purely consolidating measure. No intentional change of law has therefore been made."2 The sweep of this Act is wide as it consolidates twelve Acts into one. The Acts consolidated or repealed are:-
(i) The Succession (Property Protection) Act, 19 of 1841
(ii) The Indian Succession Act, 10 of 1925
(iii) The Parsi Intestate Succession Act, 21 of 1865
(iv) The Hindu Wills Act, 21 of 1870
(v) The Married Women's Property Act, 3 of the 1874, Section 2
(vi) Probate and Administration Act, 5 of 1881; Act 6 of 1889; Act 2 of 1890 and Act 8 of 1903
(vii) The District Delegates Act, 6 of 1881
(viii) The Succession Certificate Act, 7 of 1889
(ix) The Native Christian Administration of Estates Act, 7 of 1901
2 Statement of objects and reasons vide Gazette of India (page 5), dated 4th August, 1923.