Section 2 of Hindu Succession Act "Application of Act"
Section 2. (1) This Act applies -
(a) to any person, who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj,
(b) to any person who is Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion; and
(c) to any other person who is not a Muslim, Christian,
Parsi or Jew by religion, unless it is proved that any such
person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by
any custom or usage as part of that law in respect of any of
the matters dealt with herein if this Act had not been
Explanation : The following persons are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion, as the case may be:-
(a) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, both of whose parents are Hindus, Buddhists, Jainas or Sikhs by religion;
(b) any child, legitimate or illegitimate, one of whose parents is a Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh by religion and who is brought up as a member of the tribe, community, group or family to which such parent belongs or belonged;
(c) any person who is a convert or reconvert to the Hindu, Buddhist, Jaina or Sikh religion.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribe within the meaning of clause (25) of article 366 of the Constitution unless the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, otherwise directs.
(3) The expression "Hindu" in any portion of this Act shall be construed as if it included a person who, though not a Hindu by religion, is nevertheless, a person to whom this Act applies by virtue of the provisions contained in this section.
Section 3 of Hindu Succession Act "Definitions and interpretations"
Section 3. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, -
(a) "agnate" - one person is said to be an "agnate" of another if the two are related by blood or adoption wholly through males;
(b) "aliyasantana law" means the system of law applicable to persons who, if this Act had not been passed, would have been governed by the Madras Aliyasantana Act, 1949 (Madras Act IX of 1949) , or by the customary aliyasantana law with respect to the matters for which provision is made in this Act;
(c) "cognate" - one person is said to be a "cognate" of another if the two are related by blood or adoption but not wholly through males;
(d) the expressions "custom" and "usage" signify any rule which having been continuously and uniformly observed for a long time, has obtained the force of law among Hindus in any local area, tribe, community, group or family:
Provided that the rule is certain and not unreasonable or
opposed to public policy :
Provided further that in the case of a rule applicable only to a family it has not been discontinued by the family;
(e) "full blood", "half blood" and "uterine blood" -
(i) two persons are said to be related to each other by full blood when they are descended from a common ancestor by the same wife, and by half blood when they are descended from a common ancestor but by different wives;
(ii) two persons are said to be related to each other by uterine blood when they are descended from a common ancestress but by different husbands;
Explanation : In this clause "ancestor" includes the father and "ancestress" the mother;
(f) "heir" means any person, male or female, who is entitled to succeed to the property of an intestate under this Act;
(g) "intestate" - a person is deemed to die intestate in respect of property of which he or she has not made a testamentary disposition capable of taking effect;
(h) "marumakkattayam law" means the system of law applicable to persons -
(a) who, if this Act had not been passed, would have been governed by the Madras Marumakkattayam Act, 1932 (Madras Act XXII of 1933); the Travancore Nayar Act (II of 1100); the Travancore Ezhava Act (III of 1100); the Travancore Nanjinad Vellala Act (VI of 1101); the Travancore Kshatriya Act (VII of 1108); the Travancore Krishnanvaka Marumakkathayee Act (VII of 1115); the Cochin Marumakkathayam Act (XXXIII of 1113); or the Cochin Nayar Act (XXIX of 1113) with respect to the matters for which provision is made in this Act; or
(b) who belong to any community, the members of which are largely domiciled in the State of Travancore Cochin or Madras as it existed immediately before the 1st November, 1956, and who, if this Act had not been passed, would have been governed with respect to the matters for which provision is made in this Act by any system of inheritance in which descent is traced through the female line; but does not include the aliyasantana law;
(i) "nambudri law" means the system of law applicable to persons who, if this Act had not been passed, would have been governed by the Madras Nambudri Act, 1932(Madras Act XXI of 1933); the Cochin Nambudri Act (XVII of 1113); or the Travancore Malayala Brahmin Act (III of 1106) with respect to the matters for which provision is made in this Act;
(j) "related" means related by legitimate kinship:
Provided that illegitimate children shall be deemed to be related to their mother and to one another, and their legitimate descendants shall be deemed to be related to them and to one another; and any word expressing relationship or denoting a relative shall be construed accordingly.
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, words importing the masculine gender shall not be taken to include females.
What is Order of succession and manner of distribution among heirs of a female Hindu? What are Special provisions respecting persons governed by marumakkattayam and aliyasantana laws? Section 16 and 17 of Hindu Succession Act 1956