Saturday 23 September 2023

What is Legal Status of Dead Man?


According to Salmond,“Dead man are no longer persons in the eye of the lan . They have laid down their legal personality with their lives, and are now as destitute of rights as of liabilities. They have no rights because they have no interests. They do not even remain the owner of their property until their successors enter upon their inheritance."

In law dead men are ’things” and not ’persons”. They have no rights and no interests. The criminal law provides that any imputation against a deceased peson, if it harms the reputation of that person, if living, and is intended to hurt the feelings of his family or other near relatives, shall be an offence of defamation under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.Salmond says that there are three things, more especially, in respect of which the anxieties of living men extend beyond the period of their death in such sort that the law will take notice of them. These are a man's body, his reputation and his estate.

Dead persons are not recognized as legal persons but the testamentary dispositions of the dead are carried out by law. A person can, by his will, made a valid trust for repairs and maintenance of the graveyard because it amounts to a charitable or public trust but he cannot, by a direction in his w ill, provide that certain part of his estate shall be permanently used for the maintenance of his own grave.

Williams Vs. Williams it was laid down that a person cannot during his lifetime make a will disposing of his body, for e.g., giving his brain to the museum or giving any part of his body to the medical college. However, now a days one can legally donate his eyes during his lifetime for another person after his death. Print Page

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