Report No. 174
Section 6 of The Hindu Succession Act - A Study
2.1 The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 (hereinafter referred as the HSA) dealing with intestate succession among Hindus came into force on 17th June, 1956. This Act brought about changes in the law of succession and gave rights which were hitherto unknown, in relation to a woman's property. However, it did not interfere with the special rights of those who are members of a Mitakshara coparcenary except to provide rules for devolution of the interest of a deceased in certain cases.
The Act lays down a uniform and comprehensive system of inheritance and applies, inter-alia, to persons governed by Mitakshara and Dayabhaga Schools as also to those in certain parts of southern India who were previously governed by the Murumakkattayam, Aliyasantana and Nambudri Systems. The Act applies to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or develpments including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo Prarthana or Arya Samaj; or to any person who is Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion; to any other person who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion as per section 2. In the case of a testamentary disposition this Act does not apply and the interest of the deceased is governed by the Indian Succesion Act, 1925.
2.2 Section 4 of the Act is of importance and gives overriding effect to the provisions of the Act abrogating thereby all the rules of the Law of succession hitherto applicable to Hindus whether by virtue of any text or rule of Hindu law or any custom or usage having the force of laws, in respect of all matters dealt with in the Act. The HSA reformed the Hindu personal law and gave a woman greater property rights, allowing her full ownership rights instead of limited rights in the property she inherits under Section 14 with a fresh stock of heirs under sections 15 and 16 of the Act. The daughters were also granted property rights in their father's estate. In the matter of succession to the property of a Hindu male dying intestate, the Act lays down a set of general rules in Sections 8 to 13.