Family Law II_Doctrine of Pious Obligation

Doctrine of Pious Obligation

  1. Under the Hindu Law, debt is considered to be the sin.
  2. The ancient Doctrine of Pious Obligation was governed by the Smriti Law. 
  3. Pious obligation is the moral liability of the sons, grandsons and great-grandsons to pay or discharge the debts of father/ grandfather/great grandfather. 
  4. Extent of the liability of Son, Son’s Son and Son’s Son’s Son under the Hindu law – 
    • Son was required to pay the debt of father with interest accrued thereon 
    • The grandson was liable to pay only the principal amount 
    • The great-grandson was required to pay only to the extent to the joint family property in his hand. 
  5. The son and grandson were made personally liable to pay the debt but the great-grandson was not held personally liable. 
  6. The debt should not be avyavaharika i.e. debt taken for an immoral or illegal purpose. 
  7. When a debt is contrary to or against good moral it is called avyavaharika debt. E.g. – Debts due for gambling, Unpaid fines, unpaid tolls, debts due to lust, etc. 
  8. The debt should not be time barred. The sons are not bound to pay time barred debt of their father. 
  9. The debt must be antecedent. 
  10. This doctrine is not recognized by under the Dayabhaga School.

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