Cultural imperialism: An underpinning in the Hindu succession act

Kambhampati, Aniruddha (2020) Cultural imperialism: An underpinning in the Hindu succession act. NLUA Law Review, 4. pp. 47-59. ISSN 24558680

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Section 15 of the Hindu Succession Act (HSA) encapsulates Iris Marion Young’s concepts of oppression and cultural imperialism. The Section reflects the dominant thinking that a woman has no family of her own – it is either the husband’s or the father’s that she lives in. It is in tune with the cry for patriarchy and the inherent patriarchal nature of a family unit and thus, must be amended, and the order of succession altered. It is contended that the Section is ultra vires the Indian Constitution since the difference between the way an issueless intestate man’s estate and an issueless intestate woman’s estate devolves is based only on gender, which violates Article 15(1) – this much was held in Mamta Dinesh Vakil v. Bansi Wadhwa by the Bombay High Court in 2012, but the judgment being passed by a single bench, is not yet binding. It is also submitted that Omprakash v. Radhacharan, which is an example of the adverse effects of Section 15, was incorrectly decided by the Supreme Court since the Parliament’s intent while introducing it was to send the suit property back to the source and not to a stranger. Besides, it is no longer res integra that succession laws are not only about those who are entitled to the property, but also about those who should be disentitled. By not treating a woman as an independent individual capable of transferring her property to her blood relatives, moreover, the law also suggests that a woman has a limited stake in the property, and thus what was sought to be removed by Section 14(1) of the HSA still clearly lingers in the scheme of succession. The manner in which Section 6 has been interpreted, too, is testament to this.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Oppression | Cultural Imperialism | Patriarchy | Hindu Succession Act | Section 15
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2022 14:59
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2022 14:59
Official URL:


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