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Coparcenary In Ancient Hindu Law – Joint Heirship

The term coparcenary (joint heirship) is defined as on who holds the right to a share in property as per Hindu law. All the law manuals in ancient Hinduism recognize the daya (ancestral property) consists of two varieties.

  • Apratibanda (unobstructed)
  • Spratibandha (obstructed)

In apratibandha class fall the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons who by virtue of their birth acquire a right in the ancestral property from the hands of their father or grandfather.

Other cases of inheritance such as those in which a person takes the estate of his paternal uncle who dies without issue, or a case in which father succeeds to the estate of his son who dies without issue are called cases of sapratibandha.

By the two classifications it may be clear that the former is a case of janmasvatva vada – right arising by the birth and the latter is the case of uparamasvatva vada, i.e. right arising on the death of another.

Generally the partition is supposed to take place when all the coparceners are majors and only when such a division is called for. But the status of minority of coparcener did not serve as a bar to the partition, provided his share was kept aside.

Rights Of A Coparcener

Coparcenary comes into existence on the death of the father. Amongst his sons and grandson, if a coparcener were to die without a male issue, his right devolves on his wife or daughter and does not go to surviving brothers.