FAMILY LAW II
Please register topics with me personally to avoid the confusion of the last trimester. I will
follow a first come first served policy. A rough idea about the topic has been given to help you
select the topic. If you want to select a topic not on this list, do confirm with me. I can be
contacted at email@example.com Do not be deterred by the scanty material available. That is true
for most topics on this list. The teacher reserves the right to allow more than one student to
take up the same topic.
SLNO. TOPIC A ROUGH IDEA ABOUT THE TOPIC
1. Private Property and The development of the idea of private property and
Inheritance how rules of inheritance grew in different parts of the
world/IndiaJ a particular place/State
2 Community Property versus How are needs of individuals and dependents best
Succession served? How would exclusion affect weaker sections?
3. Persons with Disabilities and What disabilities debarred a person from
Rights. to Property inheriting/holding property? Right to gift /will
4. Conflict of Laws & Succession In a world where persons change citizenship/domicile
etc how does one determine which law would apply to
5. Duty to maintain and heirship How closely are these two concepts linked in various
6. Agricultural Property and Agriculture is in the State List and personal laws in the
Succession concurrent, what is the law applicable to Agricultural
Property? A look at one/more examples
7. Dwelling House Restrictions on rights of daughters, proposed changes
and the social necessity of providing a roof over the
heads of family members
8. Adoption and Succession The importance of sonship . Rights of adopted and
biological children Rights of children'Adopted' under
the Guardians and Wards Act
9. Custom and Property Rights Customs which deprive certain persons of rights. Using
custom proactively to protect different forms of
ownership of property
10. Dynamic Hindu Succession A wide look at Acts Modifying/Supplementing Classical
Law Hindu Law
11 . Intestate Succession to a Hindu A critical look at heirs of a Hindu Male
12. Intestate Succession to a A critical look from a gender perspective at heirs of a
Hindu Female Hindu Female
13. The Limited Estate A Provision for widows/women. Does it continue or has
it become extinct?
14. The Joint Family as a Business Merits and demerits as a form of business organization,
Institution coparcenaries and the Karta, tax implications
15. The end of the Joint Family? With changes in the Law, is the Joint family on its last
lap or will it continue?
16. Kinds of Property A Conceptual understanding of different kinds of
property and how they are to be treated in law
17. Dayabhaga System Now extinct, but does the present system incorporate its
18. Notional Partition Is it a partition or a fiction and what is the character of
the property as a consequence
19. Conversion and Confusion Conversion impacts succession in many ways. A
Critical took at this in the light of the freedom of
20. Coparcenors A wide look at these strange creatures- their coming into
existence, rights and entitlements
21. The Karta A critical look at this all powerful entity his position and
22. Minors A look at provisions dealing with minor coparcenors
and the treatment of minors property across all laws-
alienation of minors property, minor as karta etc
23. Pious Obligation Its rigour in the past, the position now, priority of
24. Gains of Science or Learning Is there any obligation today to give back to the Joint
25. Partition How is it effected? Safeguards to be kept in mind by
coparcenors and third parties
26. Alienation One of the most litigated areas of Joint Family Property.
Grounds for alienation, who can challenge, rights of
27. Third party vs heirs Third parties particularly bona fide purchasers meet
obstacles from heirs in many ways-preemption,
maintenance charges, accounts for profits, challenge to
alienations etc- a study of the position of laws in
different laws relating to succession
28. Reopening and Revision of What are the exceptional cases where this is allowed?
Partition What are the problems if allowed?
29. Doctrine of Blending When is a coparceners property created by his own
effort deemed to be apart ofjoint family property and
when is it separate?
30 Stridhana Once the only property of some Hindu women, does it
still hold some relevance today in law and in society?
31. Acts Inter vivos Validity of certain inter vivos acts in different personal
laws- gifts, alienation for value, benefit of estate, legal
32. Wills and Coparcenary Can a person will away his share in coparcenary
Property property? Pros and cons of such a step from the point of
view of the HUF/Gender Concerns
..)..). The Kerala Experiment Unique in its abolishing the joint family and in its
matrilineal history, should this model be replicated?
34. Women as Coparcenors The revolutionary amendments in the southern states
and at the Centre in the last decade
35 Hindu Religious and The law relating to this and issues such as who may
Charitable Endowments make, valid purpose, process, certainty of subject and
object. A little bit of history too or a case study if the
36. Maths & Devasthanas Administration and management. How, who can
administer, checks on abuse of powers if any. A student
may do a case study if he/she wishes
37. Impact of wills on Personal When and why was it permitted? To what extent?
Laws Can a Muslim will away his/her property? Are wills
being used to deprive 'legitimate heirs' of their property.
38. Privileged Wills What are the special circumstances under which they are
allowed? How are they executed?
39. Unprivileged Wills Step by Step study from creation, common mistakes
people make upto the point when heirs get the property
40. Construction of Wills Description of common problems/mistakes in wills and
41. Christian Law of Succession A critical look at Christian law plus a review of some of
the historical milestones
42. Mary Roy and After A Look at Mary Roys Case, and how it has impacted
Christian women's rights to property
43. Parsi Law of Intestate Is it the most beneficial to women? Some historical
Succession milestones too must be looked at
44. A history of Muslim Law in How did Muslim Law become part of the Indian Legal
India: Succession Law system? How far is Sharia applicable to matters of
succession? How has statutory law/custom impacted the
appl ication of Sharia
45. Exclusion from inheritance Traditionally certain persons were excluded from
inheritance in different personal laws. Who were they?
What exclusions survive in the present day.
46. Hanafi Law of Intestate An understanding of the system of law governing the
Succession bulk of Muslims in India
47. Shia Law of Intestate Though not a numerous as Hanafis (Sunnis), their
Succession (Shias) numbers in India are significant. An
understanding of the Shia law
48. Shia and Sunni Law of Though both are based on Sharia there are differences-
Intestate Succession: A what are these and why did they happen
49 Law relating to Gifts How far is it applicable to Indian Muslims? Types of
gifts and rules applicable. Would they apply in the case
of one of the parties being a non Muslim. (Gifts here do
not include death bed gifts/bequests)
50. Marz ul maut Muslim law relating to deathbed gifts/bequests
51. Deathbed bequests Neither a gift nor a bequest? Position of such bequests
52. Preemption The right of some persons to have the first right
(Preemptive right) to buy property which is being
alienated. Evolution of this right in different systems
and its continued relevance today.
53. Uniform Civil Code and Is this feasible or are there unbridgeable gaps
54. Wasiyat Muslims Wills - capacity, formalities, object and subject
of legacy, execution etc. Modification by laws in India
55. Wakf versus Trusts Comparing the two forms from the point of view of
benefit to heirs etc
56 Wakfs A look at wakfs created for charitable, religious and
other purposes and the law relating to wakfs over time
57. The Constitution of India and A comparative look at different laws on succession in
Succession the light of constitutional safeguards particularly
equality, special provisions for women and children and
freedom of religion
58. Kinship Rules A comparison of rules in different personal laws in
computing degrees of kinship and determining closeness
of kin. Students may in the alternative do 'Kinship
Rules & Patriarchy'
59. Matriarchy and Matriliny Examples from India and lor across the globe. How do
property relations work in such systems
60. Illegitimacy An illegitimate concept- Should it be done away with?
Determination of paternity and treatment of illegitimate
children in personal and secular laws
61. Cohabitees A look at some legal situations across the globe which
gives to partners some rights in succession
62. Joint Wills Wills made jointly are bound by some special and
peculiar rules ... or are they?
63. Succession laws among Tribals Some of these laws have special protection and tribals
do not come within the purview of 'Hindus', why is
this protection given? Examples or a case study would
64. Simultaneous deaths and Some personal laws are clear, some are not. How
Succession useful/relevant would forensic evidence be? Who would
have to pursue the matter. How?
65. The State and the deceased Loopholes in the law which allow the State to claim in
the presence of living relatives. Escheat, priority of
66. Administration of Estate of the How is this done? What payments are to be made in
Deceased what order? Is the position different under different
personal laws/secular Law
67. Impartible Estate Some Property by their very nature cannot be divided.
How are these different kinds of property and impartible
68. Primogeniture The impact of this rule on India and other parts of the
globe. How relevant was and is it in various facets of
personal law. Other' forms such as ultimogeniture
Life interest and the rule How far can a person continue to control his property
69. against perpetuity from his grave? What is the rationale against property
without an owner
70. Intention of the Testator A look at judicial decisions to see what courts and
statutory law have used to deternline intention of the
71. Onerous bequests / conditions Imposing liabilities on heirs as a prerequisite to
precedent/subsequent claiming property. How far is it justified in the Indian
context? Is it related to the doctrine of pious obligation?
72. Principle of representation How far does one kin represent another- a comparison
of personal and secular laws
73. Remedies of an heir What are the different remedies available to an heir
who feels he has not received his rightful share to the
74. The Unborn Child Rights of the unborn child to property, to challenge
alienations, partitions etc. Rationale and justification.
75. The Doctrine of Relating Back A child adopted by a Hindu widow was considered a
and property law child of her husband. Does this doctrine survive after
the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act? What is its
76. Unifornl Succession Code Frame a uniform succession code which will be
acceptable to all communities, difficulties which may
be encountered, constitutional and other arguments,
looking at Goa
77. Succession Laws in Practice Looking at property held by different groups of people,
78. Right to food and property Is there a right to food? Is it connected to property
rights rights? A look at private, community property as well
as succession laws in agrarian community(ties)
79. Women's perceptions of Looking at women's perceptions of succession and
Succession whether they have a right, whether they will enforce
their right through a survey of existing literature and a
field study. Influence of community elders/leaders and
family 'values' on such perceptions
80. Alternate Dispute Resolution Procedure in court, use of other methods to settle
and Succession Law succession disputes, enforceability of agreements
within the family
81. Daughters & Succession -a Do daughters in KamatakaiTamil
field study NaduIKeralaiMaharashtra have the same rights as sons
do after progressive legislation put in place? Looking at
trends in anyone State
82. Recent amendments to Hindu Looking at the changes in Hindu law in the last couple
law of years and its probable impact upon rights of women
83. Role of custom in succession Does law give custom a scope to operate in? what
customs are protected? One or more case studies.
Custom versus uniformity.
84. The Spouse as an heir in India Comparative project looking at the position of husbands
and wives as heirs of each other, rationale for the
present rules and their historical basis in India as well
as common law.
85. The spouse as an heir- lessons Looking at how the law treats spouses as heirs from
from around the world examples around the world. Look at different
jurisdictions and see what would be a useful addition in
the Indian context. No need to look at Indian laws in
86. Marriage as a basis for heirship A critical look at marriage and succession laws.
Recognition of other relationships and partnerships-
heterosexual and homosexual, concubinage, bigamous
87. Testamentary Successsion and Procedure to be followed after a person dies leaving a
Procedural law will. Problems which may arise, differences in personal
laws if any. Restrictions imposed by personal laws
which must be followed. Suggestions for modifications
in procedures if any
88. Jewish Law on Succession Examining traditional laws, present law in Israel and
what the position in India is.
89. Tribal law : Succession and Looking at the special position occupied by tribal laws.
related matters Examining one or more specific tribal laws to see how
property devolves even if it is not succession in the
90. Daughter and her descendants Comparative study of personal laws, historical to see
in succession laws position of daughter and changes if any over time.
91. Social responsibilities of What purpose do they serve, how does law treat them,
reI igious and charitable how are there checks and balances on powers etc.
92. Adoption & Succession What does the law say, what must adoptive and other
'parents' keep in mind, international standards,
93. Church property How is it held, checks and balances, older institutions
versus newer ones.
94. Reform in Muslim Law of Critique of existing law and lessons from around the
Sarasu Esther Thomas
Family Law II