The rule relating to the devolution of copar­cenary property as laid down in the Hindu Succession Act 1956

Coparcenary is a narrow body than a joint family and consists of only those persons who have taken an interest by birth and who can enforce partition whenever they like. It commences with a common ancestor and includes a holder of joint property and only those males in his male line who are not removed from him by more than three degrees. Thus while a son, grandson, or a great grandson is a coparcener, the great grandson cannot be a copar­cener with him, because he is removed by more than three de­grees from the holder.

If, however, he dies leaving female heirs of class I to the Schedule or male relative specified in that class who claims through such female relatives, his interest will devolve in accordance with this Act.


If a coparcener dies intestate leaving a widow, two sons and a daughter, who are heirs of class I to the Schedule the devolution will take place not by survivorship, but under this Act. And if, suppose, the joint family had 90 units of property and the divided son had separated taking 30 units, the joint family was left with 60 units of property at the time of the death of the father.

Of this, the father would have been entitled to only 30 units if there was a partition just prior to his death and, therefore, only 30 units of property will devolve according to the provisions of this Act the other 30 units will go to undivided son in his own right.

The 30 units of the property which is to devolve in accordance with the Act, will be shared equally by the three heirs, the widow, the undivided son and the daughter each getting, 10 units of property. Thus, the widow would get 10 units, the undivided son 40 units and the daughter 10 units of property.

In this view of the matter, the act while confers property rights on female heirs, it, by explanation 2, to this section, creates an incentive for sons to remain joint rather than separate; since a divided son will get only his share in the coparcenary, so too, will do an undivided son but the latter, in addition, will also be en­titled to a share by intestate succession under Section 8 of the Act.

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