SCHOOLS OF HINDU LAW

Different school of thoughts arose due to the emergence of various commentaries on Smriti and Shruti. These commentaries varied from one part to another part of the country. The two school of Hindu law are:

  • Mitakshara School
  • Dayabhaga School

Mitakshara School

Except West Bengal and Assam Mitakshara school exists throughout the India. It is one of the oldest schools. Mitakshara school is the Commentary on the Yajnavalkya Smriti and the writer is Vijnaneshwara, Mitakshara school has a wider jurisdiction as compared to Dayabhaga. Mitakshara school is based on the principle or propinquity i.e., the nearest in blood relationship will get the property. Mitakshara is one of the oldest among the 2 Schools. It has the widest jurisdiction and is applicable in the whole of India except Assam and West Bengal where the Dayabhaga is applied. Mitakshara school is subdivided into five parts:

  • Benaras School
  • Mithila School
  • Bombay or Maharashtra School
  • Dravida or Madras School
  • Punjab Law School

Dayabhaga School

Dayabhaga school exists in West Bengal and Orissa. Jimatuvahana is said to be the writer of Dayabhaga. Dayabhaga does not have any sub schools like Mitakshara school. Dayabhaga school is based on the principle of religious efficacy.

Difference between Mitakshara and Dayabhaga school

  • According Mitakshara school a son, grandson and great grandson acquires right to the ancestral property by birth. According to Dayabhaga school there is no birth right, the right to ancestral property is only given after the death of the last owner. The absolute power of alienation over the ancestral property is possessed by the father in Dayabhaga school. While, in Mitakshara school the father does not have the sole right to alienate the property as the son, grandson and great grandson acquire the right in the property by birth.
  • According to Mitakshara brothers who have inherited the property from the father have a right of survivorship. Agnates are preferred over cognates. In case of death of any member, his interest shall pass on to the other members of the family. Under Dayabhaga in case of death of any member of a family, his interest shall pass on to his heirs.
  • Under Dayabhaga a widow can succeed to the share of her husband after his death. While in Mitakshara a widow cannot succeed for the same as in Mitakshara there is right of survivorship of brothers which excludes her right. In Mitakshara the widow has only a right of maintenance.
  • The rule of consanguinity is followed in case of heritance in Mitakshara. While in Dayabhaga the rule of the offering pinda is followed in case of inheritance
  • Under Mitakshara school agnates are preferred over cognates. While in Dayabhaga cognates are preferred over agnates.
  • Under Mitakshara the coparcener does not have any defined interest. With the birth and death of each coparcener the shares fluctuate. While in Dayabhaga each coparcener has a defined interest.
  • Under the Dayabhaga females may become the coparcener as it is mentioned that on the death of a coparcener his shares can be succeeded by his heirs. Under Mitakshara only males can be a coparcener.

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