Here, we report a Density Functional Theoretical (DFT) study on the photophysics of a potent Excited-State Intramolecular Proton Transfer (ESIPT) molecular system, viz., 10-hydroxybenzo[h]quinoline (HBQ). Particular emphasis has been rendered on the assessment of the proton transfer reaction in HBQ in the ground and excited-states through elucidation and a careful perusal of the potential energy surfaces (PES). The non-viability of Ground-State Intramolecular Proton Transfer (GSIPT) process is dictated by a high-energy barrier coupled with no energy minimum for the proton transferred (K-form) form at the ground-state (S0) PES. Remarkable reduction of the barrier along with thermodynamic stability inversion between the enol (E-form) and the keto forms (K-form) of HBQ upon photoexcitation from S0 to the S 1-state advocate for the operation of ESIPT process. These findings have been cross-validated on the lexicon of analysis of optimized geometry parameters, Mulliken's charge distribution on the heavy atoms, and molecular orbitals (MO) of the E- and the K-forms of HBQ. Our computational results also corroborate to experimental observations. From the modulations in optimized geometry parameters in course of the PT process a critical assessment has been endeavoured to delve into the movement of the proton during the process. Additional stress has been placed on the analysis of the intramolecular hydrogen bonding (IMHB) interaction in HBQ. The IMHB interaction has been explored by calculation of electron density ρ(r) and the Laplacian ∇ 2ρ(r) at the bond critical point (BCP) using Atoms-In-Molecule (AIM) method and by calculation of interaction between σ* of OH with the lone pair of the nitrogen atom using Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis. © 2011ElsevierB.V.Allrightsreserved.