Righting Sarla Mudgal v Union of India and Others

Sen, Jhuma (2016) Righting Sarla Mudgal v Union of India and Others. Jindal Global Law Review, 7 (1). pp. 97-112. ISSN 0975-2498

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This paper presents a feminist alternative judgment or a feminist (shadow) judgment to the Supreme Court of India’s judgment in Sarla Mudgal v Union of India and Ors. This shadow judgment is inspired by the Feminist Judgments Projects in UK, Australia, Canada, and other places to radically reimagine the role of a judge to adjudicate differently by remaining faithful to the legal and constitutional rules that bind her. The project situates writing alternative judgments to judgments that could have been written better or written differently by using a feminist lens. In Sarla Mudgal, the Supreme Court was specifically called to examine the validity of a Hindu marriage between a Hindu man and a Hindu woman and the issue of bigamy by the former after contracting a second marriage with another Hindu woman by a fraudulent conversion to Islam. However, instead of putting the responsibility of bigamy on the Hindu men, the SC blamed the act on the plurality of personal laws and the lack of a uniform civil code. Sarla Mudgal is an example how misplaced judicial zeal ends up as Hindutva’s uniform civil code stick to beat minorities with. The shadow judgment, written in the form of a separate but concurring opinion, explores whether there was any possibility of denouncing bigamy of Hindu men and holding the bigamous men responsible without ascribing their bigamy as a product of Muslim personal laws.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Feminist judgment project | Uniform civil code | Sarla mudgal | Hindu bigamy
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 04:34
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 04:34
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41020-016-0020-0
Additional Information: The author thanks Rosemary Hunter and the editors of this special issue for their very helpful comments.
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/2209


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