Succession, in simple words, implies to the act of succeeding or following, as of events, objects, places in series. Speaking purely of legal terms, succession is the process of a person‘s right of inheriting a title, office or property etc. relinquished by a person, arising on the event of his/her death.
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “inheritance may be defined as a receipt if the property of an ancestor under the laws of intestacy”.
Noted author Mulla while defining succession states, “the law of inheritance comprises of rules which govern devolution of property on the death of the person, upon other persons solely on account of their relationship with the former.
In India, as the law of succession falls within the domain of personal law we come across different laws of succession, each of while asserting to indicate the diverse and contrasting ideas, customs, traditions and usages of the community to which the law in question applies.
The law relating to succession can be broadly classified into the following:
The Indian Succession Act, 1925: The Indian Succession Act is a piece of secular legislation applicable to all Indian, the only exception being the law of instate succession wherein the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Muslims are governed by their own personal laws of intestate succession.
The Hindu Succession Act, 1956: The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 is applicable to the Hindus. Similarly, Sec 31 to 49 of The Indian Succession Act, 1925 act are applicable to Christians and Jews.
Moving over the Muslim law of succession, for matters pertaining to non-testamentary succession, The Muslim Personal Law (shariyat) Application Act, 1937 is applicable and in case of Muslim dying testate, the same shall be governed by The Indian Succession Act, 1925.