Christian law of inheritance in India regulated by Indian Succession Act, 1925 steered by rule of kinship recognizes only consanguinity as a determining factor for title to succession and does not protect the rights of adopted and illegitimate child to inherit property. Christian law though grants equal inheritance rights to sons and daughters and protects right to property of surviving spouse but allows only children born from valid marriage to inherit. Denial of inheritance rights to adopted and illegitimate children causes social and economic deprivations. Inheritance practices among Christians disallowing such rights to adopted or illegitimate children of the deceased have profound negative impact on them. In dealing with personal laws larger participation of the community is required to make a concerted effort to request legislature to change and improve laws and bring them in tune with modern thinking and in consonance with human dignity. This paper intends to examine the void left in statutory law of inheritance pertaining to rights of adopted and illegitimate child under Christian law, examines the legislative and judicial developments with respect to granting of rights to such children and suggests reforms in inheritance laws to bring change in family structure.
- inheritance rights in property; Indian Christian inheritance law; inheritance rights of adopted child under Christian law; inheritance rights of illegitimate child under Christian law
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