The general rules of succession in the case of males as provided for in the Hindu Succession Act

1. The property of a male Hindu dying intestate shall de­volve:

(a) First, upon the heirs, being the relatives specified in class I of the Schedule;

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(b) Secondly if there is no heir of class I, then upon the heirs, being the relatives specified in class II of the schedule;

(c) Thirdly, if there is no heir of any of the classes, then upon the agents of the deceased; and

(d) lastly, if there is no agnate, upon the cognantes of the deceased. [Sec. 8].

2. Order of succession among heirs in the schedule:

Among the heir specified in the schedule, those in class I shall take simultaneously and to the exclusion of all other heirs; those in the first entry in the case II shall be preferred to those in the second entry; those in the second entry shall be preferred to those in the third entry; and so on in succession (Sec. 9).

3. Distribution of property among heirs in class I of the Schedule:

The property of an interstate shall be divided among the heirs in class I of the Schedule in accordance with the follow­ing rules:

Rule 1:

The intestate’s widow, or if there are more widows than one, all the widows together shall take one share.

Rule 2:

The surviving sons and daughters and the mother of the intestate shall each take one share.

Rule 3:

The heirs in the branch of each predeceased son or each predeceased daughter of the intestate shall take between them one share.

Rule 4:

The distribution of shares referred to in the Rule 3:

(1) Among the heirs in the branch of the predeceased son shall be so made that his widow (or widows together) and the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions.

(ii) Among the heirs in the branch of the predeceased daugh­ter shall be so made that the surviving sons and daughters get equal portions. (Sec. 10).

4. Distribution of property among heirs in the class II of the Schedule:

The property of an intestate shall be divided be­tween the heirs specified in any entry in class II of the Schedule so that they share equally. (Sec. 11).

5. Order of succession among agnates and cognates:

The order of succession among agnates or cognates, as the case may be, shall be determined in accordance with the rule of prefer­ence laid down hereunder:

Rule 1:

Of two heirs, the one who has fewer or no degrees of ascent is preferred.

Rule 2:

Where the number of degree of ascent is the same or none, that heir is preferred who has fewer or no degree of descent.

Rule 3:

Where neither heir’s entitled to be preferred to the other under Rule 1 or Rule 2 they take simultaneously. (Scr. 12).

6. Computation of degrees:

(1) For the purpose of deter­mining the order of succession among agnates or cognates, rela­tionship shall be reckoned from the intestate to the heir in terms of degrees of ascent or degrees of descent or both, as the case may be:

(2) Degrees of ascent and degrees of descent shall be com­puted inclusive of the intestate.

(3) Every generation continues a degree either ascending or descending. (Sec. 13).

We may now sum up all the rules relating to the order of succession. Thus the order of succession among the heirs will be the heirs specified in class I of the schedule will take simultane­ously and in exclusion of all others and each heir will take share in the property left as is mentioned in Section 10, in the absence of the heir such as of Class I of the schedule, the heirs of class II of the schedule will succeed vide Sec.

[8(b)] and amongst them those in the first entry will be preferred to those in the second entry, those in the second entry will be preferred to those in the third entry and so on [vide Sec. 9], and all the heirs in any one entry will share equally [vide Sec. 11]; if there are no heirs of the two classes, the agnates of the last holder will succeed [vide Sec. 8(c); and in the absence of them too, his cognates will be entitled to succeed [vide Sec. 8(d], in the case of the agnates or the cognates, that there will be preferred who has fewer or no degrees of ascent [vide Sec. 12, rule 1] and where the degree of ascent is the same or more, that heir is preferred who has fewer or no degrees of descent [vide Sec. 12, rule 2], and where no preference is possible and both the heirs arc equally placed, both will take simultaneously [vide Sec. 12, rule 3].

The degrees of relationship in each case have to be computed in accordance with the prin­ciples of the original Hindu Law, which have been adopted by this Act, namely, every generation either ascending or descending will constitute one degree and will be computed inclusive of the intestate (vide Sec. 13).