Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No.13. The Indian Succession Act, 1925

Existing Provisions

Section 15 : Domicile Acquired by woman on marriage - By marriage a woman acquired the domicile of her husband, if she had not the same domicile before.

Section 16 : Wife's domicile during marriage - A wife's domicile during her marriage follows the domicile of her husband. Exception - The wife's domicile no longer follows that of her husband if they are separated by the sentence of a competent Court, or if the husband is undergoing a sentence of transportation.

Section 22 : Settlement of minor's property in contemplation of marriage - 1) The property of a minor may be settled in contemplation of marriage, provided the settlement is made by minor with the approbation of the minor's father, or, if the father is dead or absent from India, with the approbation of the High Court. 2) Nothing in this section or in section 21 shall apply to any will made or intestacy occurring before the first day of January, 1866, or to intestate or testamentary succession to the property of any Hindu, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina.

Section 60 : Testamentary guardian - A father, whatever his age may be, may by will appoint a guardian or guardians for his child during minority

Section 214: Proof of representative title a condition precedent to recovery through the Courts of debts from debtors of deceased person -

  1. No Court shall -

    a) pass a decree against a debtor of a deceased person for payment of his debt to a person claiming on succession to be entitled to the effects of the deceased person or to any part thereof, or

    b) proceed, upon an application of a person claiming to be so entitled, to execute against such a debtor a decree or order for the payment of his debt, except on the production, by the person so claiming of -

    1. a probate or letters of administration evidencing the grant to him of administration to the estate of the deceased, or

    2. a certificate granted under section 31 or section 32 of the Administrator - General's Act, 1913 ( 3 of 1913), and having the debt mentioned therein, or

    3. a succession certificate granted under Part X and having the debt specified therein, or

    4. a certificate granted under the Succession certificate Act, 1889 ( 7 of 1889), or

    5. a certificate granted under Bombay Regulation No. VIII of 1827, and, if granted after the first day of May, 1889 having the debt specified therein.

  2. The word debt in sub-section 1) includes any 'debt' except rent, revenue or profits payable in respect of land used for agricultural purposes.

Section 218: To whom administration may be granted, where deceased is a Hindu;, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh, Jaina or exempted person -

  1. If the deceased has died intestate and was a Hindu;, Mohammadan, Buddhist, Sikh or Jaina or an exempted person, administration of his estate may be granted to any person who, according to the rules for the distribution of the estate applicable in the case of such deceased, would be entitled to the whole or any part of such deceased's estate.

  2. When several such person apply for such administration, it shall be in the discretion of th Court to grant it to any one or more of them. 3) When no such person applies, it may be granted to a creditor of the deceased.

Section 219 : Where deceased is not a Section 219 Hindu, Muhammadan, Buddhist, Sikh, Jaina or exempted person - a).., b).., c) If there is no widow, or if the Court sees cause to exclude the widow, it shall commit the administration to the person or persons who would be beneficially entitled to the estate according to the rules for the distribution of an intestate's estate. d)...., e)..., f)...., g)....

Suggested Amendments by NCW

1. Section 15 and 16 of the Act to be amended so as to remove the compulsory linking up of the wife's domicile with that of the husband. The women's domicile should be left to be determined by the same rules as governing the domicile of men.

2. Where the spouse of the deceased is one of the applicants, her application shall not be rejected without sufficient cause.


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