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HINDU LAW - INTRODUCTION

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

HINDU LAW - INTRODUCTION


Hindu Dharma-is one of the oldest jurisprudences of the legal world. The written Smritis are: Manusmriti, Yajnavalkya Smriti and Naradasmriti. These are as old as 13th Century B.C. The term Dharmasastra applies to these Smritis generally. The Sanskrit treatises on these Smritis, appeared as comrnentaries and Digests.The most important of them are 1) Mitakshara written by Vijnaneswara(1100 A.D.) (2) Dayabhaga written by Jimutavahana

(1300 A.D.). These two are called the School of Hindu Law.


Mitakshara is being followed in all parts'of India except Bengal & Assam where Dayabhaga has its sway. Apart from there commentaries there are pthers held by jurists with great esteem:- 'Smriti Chandrika' by Deva Nanda Bhatt,' Vivada Rat nakara' by Chandeswara, 'Parasara madhaviya' by Madhavacharya, 'Vivada Chinthamani', by Vachaspati, 'Saraswati Vilasa' by Pratapa Ruradeva, 'Vyavahara Nirnaya' by Varadaraja, 'Nirnaya sindhu' by Kamalakara, 'Daitaka Mimamsa' by Nanda Pandita, 'Dattaka Chandriks' by Kubera etc. This list shows the formidable resources. A gleaning into these can be had by reading the 'History of Dharmasastra's by Dr.Maha mahopadyaya Kane. For a Thorough Knowledge on Hindu Law one must sit with these great masters.


To the students and beginners this is a list for their future reading & specialisation. We have now the codified Hindu Law in the form of Acts and also the uncodified Hindu Law, and also the decisions of our Supreme Court and various High courts;



Hindu Law

Uncodified Law


  • Sources of Hindu Law,

  • Mithakshara & Dayabhaga Schools.

  • (i) Stridhana (ii) Widow Yestate (iii) Reversioners.

  • (i) Mithakshara Copairenary-Characteristics-Kartha-Alienatir Partition-re-union.

  • (ii) Dayabhaga Law.

  • (iii) Property: Self acquired, Ancestral,Joint Venture Acquitions. Gains of Learning Act.

  • Debts:

  • Liabilities-Nature, Meaning, Scope.

  • (b) Antecedent Debts.

  • (c) Pious obligation-Doctrine-Scope-(Vyavaharika Avyavaharika Debts.)

  • Gifts.

  • Wills.

  • Benami Transactions.

  • Religious & Charitable Endowments.

  • Law of Damdupat.

  • Conversion.


Codified Hindu Law

1. Hindu Marriage Act 1955 & Amendments 1976-valid, void and voidable Marriages Restitution of conjagal rights-Nul Divorce,


2. Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act 1956.

i) Adoption:- Doctrine & its scope-changes made in the N,, Act-invalid adoptions-KritrimaIllatoni'

ii) Maintenance: Nature-extent-persons entitied-amounts-Right to Maintenance how protected against alienations etc..


3. Hindu Minority & Guardianship Act 1956-Types of Guardian ship powers-Functipns Defacto Guardian-Minor's interest.


4. Hindu Succession Act 1956:

i) Intestate Succession-General

ii) General Provisions relating to Succession,

iii)Testamentory Succession,

iv)Sn. 14: Abolition of Widow's estate-Reference to old Law. compari son thereof. Disqualification & exclusion from inheritance. Marumakkathayam, Aliyasantana & Nambcodri Law.




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