A Closer Look at Personal Laws Misused in India
Personal laws in India are a set of laws that govern matters of personal status, such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. These laws are based on the religious beliefs of the community to which the individual belongs. For example, Hindus are governed by the Hindu Personal Laws, Muslims are governed by the Muslim Personal Laws, and Christians are governed by the Indian Christian Marriage Act.
Personal laws have been criticized for being discriminatory and outdated. For example, the Hindu Personal Laws Act, 1956, does not give women equal rights to inheritance. Muslim Personal Laws allow for polygamy, which is the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time. And the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, does not allow for divorce by mutual consent.
There have been several examples of personal laws being misused in India. Here are a few examples:
- Triple Talaq: Triple talaq is a form of instant divorce in Islamic law. It allows a Muslim man to divorce his wife by simply saying "talaq" three times. This practice has been criticized for being discriminatory and outdated. In 2017, the Supreme Court of India ruled that triple talaq was unconstitutional. However, there have been several cases of Muslim men divorcing their wives by triple talaq since the Supreme Court's ruling.
- Nikah Halala: Nikah halala is a practice in Islamic law that requires a Muslim woman who has divorced her husband and wants to remarry him to first marry another man and then divorce him. This practice has been criticized for being humiliating and degrading to women. In 2017, the Supreme Court of India ruled that nikah halala was unconstitutional. However, there have been several cases of Muslim women being forced to undergo nikah halala since the Supreme Court's ruling.
- Discrimination against Hindu women in inheritance: Hindu Personal Laws do not give women equal rights to inheritance. Under Hindu Personal Laws, a daughter only inherits half as much as a son from her father's property. This practice has been criticized for being discriminatory and outdated. There have been several cases of Hindu women being denied their inheritance rights.
These are just a few examples of how personal laws have been misused in India. Personal laws have the potential to perpetuate discrimination and inequality, and they need to be reformed to reflect the values of modern society.