Indian Family Law

TitleIndian Family Law
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsFunke, RD, Boxall, SF, Funke, MB, Myers, GA, Potthast, A
Corporate AuthorsAssociation of Practical and Professional Ethics,
Date Published08/2012
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
KeywordsLaw , Legal Ethics
AbstractIndia is among the world’s largest nations, is home to the second largest population (over 1 billion people), and has incredible religious diversity. Article 44 of the Indian Constitution requires a uniform civil code throughout India, but at present much of Indian civil law is based on traditional case law.1 A key element of Indian civil law includes the separation of some elements of personal or family law (marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, alimony, etc.) into three separate streams of jurisprudence: Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. The effect of this tradition is that Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are each governed by a distinct set of legal rules with respect to civil family institutions, though they share a criminal code which also affects family life. For decades, women and women’s groups in India and abroad have objected to the use of traditional religious laws such as Sharia and Dharmaśāstra. Under Sharia law, Muslim women have been denied divorce, child custody, and maintenance because of misogynistic gender norms within traditional Islam. For example Shah Bano, a 62- year-old Muslim woman, was divorced by her husband and was initially awarded maintenance or alimony payments available to women of other faiths under the Indian criminal code. However, subsequent legislation and courts held that as a Muslim woman, Bano was only eligible for three months of alimony after which it was expected that she would be cared for by relatives
NotesCase from the 2012 Regional Ethics Bowl Competition © Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
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