With reference to the history of ancient India, which of the following statements is/are correct?
- Mitakshara was the civil law for upper castes and Dayabhaga was the civil law for lower castes.
- In the Mitakshara system, the sons can claim right to the property during the lifetime of the father, whereas in the Dayabhaga system, it is only after the death of the father that the sons can claim right to the property.
- The Mitakshara system deals with the matters related to the property held by male members only of a family, whereas the Dayabhaga system deals with the matters related to the property held by both male and female members of a family.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 3 only
- Mitakshara Law is a legal system of inheritance based on the Yajnavalkya Smriti, which provides guidelines on the laws of inheritance in Hindu society. Under the original Mitakshara Law, prior to the amendments introduced by The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, a son would acquire a birthright interest in the ancestral property. In the event of a coparcener’s death, their share of the property would merge with that of the surviving coparceners. A coparcener refers to an individual who shares equal rights with others in the inheritance of an undivided estate.
- Dayabhaga Law, attributed to Jimutavahana and developed around the 12th century, is another legal code governing Hindu inheritance, particularly property inheritance. In Dayabhaga Law, a son does not automatically receive a share of his father’s inheritance during the father’s lifetime.
- The Dayabhaga Law system predominantly prevailed in the region of Bengal, indicating its regional significance.
- It is important to note that the applicability of either Mitakshara Law or Dayabhaga Law is not exclusive to any specific caste(s). Both legal systems are relevant to inheritance practices in Hindu society as a whole, regardless of caste.
Therefore. Option (b) is the correct answer.