Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mitaksara and Dayabhaga: Schools of Family Law and Inheritance

Today India has two famous schools of family law and inheritance; Mitaksara and Dayabhaga. They are named after the medieval legal texts on which they are based.  While most families of Eastern region of India including Bengal and Assam follow the rules of Dayabhaga, while Mitaksara is followed generally by the rest of India.

The main difference between these two schools is that while according to the Dayabhaga school, son has a right in the family property only on the death of father, Mitaksara maintains that sons and grandsons have rights over the property even before the death of father.

A commentary on the lawbook of Yajnnavalkya, Mitaksara was written by Vijnasevara, who was patronized by Chalukya emperor Vikramaditya VI (c. 1075-1127). Dayabhaga was compiled by eminent medieval jurist Jimutavahana in the 12th century.

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