Inheritance Rights of an Adopted Son and Subsequently Born Aurasa Son under Hindu Adoptions Act, 1956

This was because of a text of Vasishtha and of Baudhayana according to which in such a situation the adopted son takes only “a fourth share”. This text has been interpreted differently in different schools.

Benaras School:

The adopted son takes 1/4th of the whole estate. The aurasa son takes 3/4th.

Bombay School The adopted son takes 1/4th of the aurasa son’s share. So, adopted son takes l/5th and aurasa son 4/5th.

Madras School:

Adopted son takes l/5th. But amongst sudras the adopted son and subsequently born aurasa son take equally. This is on the authority of Dattaka Chandrika which was accepted by the Privy Council in Perrazu v. Subharayudu, (1921) 48 IA 280.

Bengal School:

The law is the same as in Madras in regard to sudras. But as regards other castes, the adopted son takes 1/3rd of the estate. This is on the authority of Dayabhaga citing a text of Katyayana to that effect.

In the case before the Supreme Court Guramma v. Mallappa, AIR 1964 SC 510, the question arose with reference to the law in Bombay. It was argued that the differentiation between sudras and other castes should be made in Bombay also; But the Supreme Court’ rejected this contention following the view of Talang, J., Girappa v. Ningappa, 17 Bom. 100.

In Bombay even in the case of Sudras, the adopted son takes only l/5th while the later born aurasa son takes 4/5th of the estate. The decision of the Privy Council in Perrazu v. Subbarayudu, 48 IA 280 should be confined to Madras and Bengal only for there the Dattaka Chandrika is treated as a specially binding authority in matters relating to adoption.

All these different and differing interpretations have now been superseded by legislation. The adopted son ranks equally with the aurasa son amongst all castes. So he takes an equal share with the aurasa son. This is so irrespective of the caste to which the parties belong.

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