Laws on Hindu Succession in Kerala


Inheritance means the right to succeed to the estate on intestacy - dying without a legally valid will. Succession means the process by which the heirs acquire the property of the deceased. Inheritance refers to the right to succeed but succession refers to the process of succession. Both concepts are inseparably intertwined.

The law of inheritance constitutes the rules based on which the property of a person died intestate devolves upon his descendants. It starts operating immediately on the death of the owner of the property. Even a child in the womb acquires the right to succession to the property when a person dies intestate.

Gift and its Legal Provisions

Gift is the gratuitous transfer of certain existing moveable or
immoveable property, made voluntarily and without consideration by one
person to another person and accepted by or on behalf of the latter. The
transfer must be based on free will and not without duress, force or
undue influence. The transfer here means any disposition, conveyance,
assignment, settlement, delivery, payment or other alienation. The
transferor is called ‘donor’ and the transferee is called ‘donee’.

The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 in its Section 122 defines what a
gift is. The Section says a gift “is the transfer of certain existing
moveable or immoveable property made voluntarily and without
consideration, by one person, called the donor, to another, called the
donee, and accepted by or on behalf of the donee. Acceptance when to be
made.—Such acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor
and while he is still capable of giving. If the donee dies before
acceptance, the gift is void”.

Law relating to First Information Report (FIR)


The First Information Statement (FIS) or First Information Report (FIR) has not been defined in the Criminal Procedural Code, 1973 (CrPC). It is commonly understood as the information received by the police about commission of a crime and recorded under section 154(1) of the CrPC. In fact, it is the information of a crime reported to the police, first in point of time.

Whether any information received before the police officer is one coming under the section 154(1) is a question of fact. It has to be decided on the merit of its ingredients rather than the discretion of the police officer.

Husband's right to get Maintenance from his Wife

A deserving husband of a woman married under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has every right to get maintenance. But no other law of similar kind provides for a husband to get maintenance from his wife.

The term ‘maintenance’ includes a wide range of things for living such as food, clothes, residence and the things necessary for the comfort and status in which the person is expected to live.

Distinction between Culpable Homicide and Murder

The heinous offence of killing of a person by another is termed as
Murder, Culpable Homicide and Non-Culpable Homicide in India or in
degrees such as First Degree Murder, Second Degree Murder and Third
Degree Murder in the United States of America, depending on the gravity
of intention behind the act and the severity of the way of committing
the crime.

In India, the crime of killing of a human being by another human being
is broadly categorized as Culpable Homicide and Murder under the Indian
Penal Code (IPC). They are enlisted as distinct offences. But the
definition and description of both Culpable Homicide under Section 299
IPC and Murder under Section 300 IPC look almost similar in terms of the
terminology used. Therefore making out the distinction between them is
bit difficult. The lack of distinction perplexes even the learned law
professionals also.

Proving Public Documents in Indian Judicial Proceedings

What is a document?

A document is a material substance on which any matter or thought is
expressed by means of letters, figures or marks, either singly or in
combination, for the purpose of recording them.

Any writing, a printed material, a map, an inscription on a rock, a
caricature, a anything marked by notches etc are examples of a document.

Quashing of FIR or Proceedings under Section 482 CrPC

Inherent powers of the High Court

The Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) preserves
some awesome inherent powers to the High Court to make such orders that
are necessary:

  • to give effect to any order under the Code,

  • to prevent abuse of the process of any court, or

  • to secure the ends of justice.

Inherent powers are quite different from statutorily prescribed powers.
They have to be exercised by the court only to meet the eventualities
specifically laid down by law as its purposes. They should not be
resorted to like the statutorily prescribed remedy of appeal or
revision, but to be used sparingly, carefully and with abundant caution
so as to avoid any misuse.

The High Court (HC) can exercise the jurisdiction suo moto in the
interest of justice even while exercising other jurisdiction such as
appellate or revisonal.

An Outline of a Trial before a Court of Session


A Court of Session is the court, which deals with serious criminal cases and passes any sentence including death, at the district (sessions division) level. It cannot take cognizance of any offence directly, except when it functions as a special court, in accordance with some
special laws.

Therefore a Magistrate initially has to take cognizance of the offence even in a serious criminal case and has the right to exercise the powers relating to bail/remand to custody then. He, thereafter on due examination of the seriousness of the offence, commits the serious case to the Court of Session by sending the record of the case along with the
connected articles, if it is triable exclusively by the latter, and informs the Public Prosecutor of its commitment.

The Court of Session will conduct the case thus committed to it, as provided for in the sections 225 to 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC).

Law Relating to Succession & Other Certificates

Legal Heirship Certificate, Succession Certificate and Letters of
Administration have close relation. They serve a common purpose – they
are being used for devolution of some rights on the property of a person
died intestate, to their legal descendants. These certificates, because
of their names rather than their contents, create some confusion in the
minds of not only ordinary people but some learned lawyers also. The
purpose of this write up is to bring in some clarity in regard to the
basic nature of those certificates governing inheritance and succession.

The bank accounts, property, personal assets and investments that a
person leaves behind when he dies are altogether called ‘estate’. When
there is a contest in the nature of devolution of the ‘estate’ to the
descendants, it is necessary to obtain legal authority from the court.
Normally, Will is the legal instrument by which a person makes a plan
for disposition of his property after his death. When the deceased
person leaves no Will or his Will cannot be executed due to some
reasons, there comes the role of such a certificate for disposing of his