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Q.1)  Discuss the issues involved in interfaith marriages? What are the constitutional rights involved in these marriages? (GS-2)

Context:

Recently, the Supreme Court  has freed  Hadiya, girl from Kerala who converted to Islam, from her parent’s custody, the Supreme Court has protected her freedom to choose her religion and her freedom of movement.This was the case of interfaith marriages.

Issues related to interfaith marriage:

  • Most of interfaith marriage couples are forced to conversion.
  • In Muslim Personal law in order to get married to a non Muslim conversion is the only way.
  • Hindu religion allows only monogamy and those who want to marry second time takes another course.
  • The Maternal and paternal succession have complexion in interfaith marriages.
  • There is no provision regarding caste determination of child born out such marriages.
  • Special Marriage Act 1954 is not compatible with backwardness of the society.
  • There is debate over the validity of Article 226 in context of annulling the interfaith marriage by high court.

The constitutional and rights issues involved in interfaith marriages:

  • The rights provided by the Constitution of India such as rights of Right to Equality, Right to Freedom & Personal Liberty, Right to Life, are also conferred to the couples marrying under the Special Marriage Act.
  • In India all marriages are governed by personal religion but when it comes to interfaith marriages it has to come under special marriage act 1954.
  • SC has extended the ambit of Article 21 right to life to cover the aspect of marital choice
  • It is an individual’s choice for obtaining freedom of choice.
  • Freedom of choosing life partner also ensures Right to life with dignity.

Article 21:

  • Protection Of Life And Personal Liberty: No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
  • Article 21 states that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.

Article 25:

  • Article 25 of the Indian constitution provides the freedom to practice any religion of one’s choice. And personal laws of the religions have specified various laws relating to marriage for the followers of that religion. Hence, in India inter-faith marriages are allowed as the constitution allows one to convert to a different religion from what one was born with and further the personal laws of the religion have provisions.
  • Right to freedom of religion is a fundamental right, article 25 of the constitution has detailed provisions in this regard.
  • It provides- all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate a religion of his/her wishes.

Freedom of movement:

  • Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country, and to leave the country and return to it.
  • The right includes not only visiting places, but changing the place where the individual resides or work.
  • A citizen of a state in which that citizen is present has the liberty to travel, reside in and/or work in any part of the state where one pleases within the limits of respect for the liberty and rights of others.
  • A citizen also has the right to leave any country, including his or her own, and to return to his or her country at any time.

Q.2) India is yet to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman even after two decades of signing it. Discuss the significance of this Convention and Why India should sign it. (GS-2)

India is yet to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman even after two decades of signing it.

UN Convention against torture:

  • The UN Convention against torture is an international treaty signed and enforced in 1984 and 1987 respectively.

Significance of the convention:

  • It aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment around the world.
  • It considers all acts of torture as criminal offence.
  • It includes right of compensation for victims.
  • It forbids nations to send citizens to any country where they believe the transported person may be tortured.
  • It inspires the countries and individuals to avoid inhuman treatment to others.

India signed the convention in 1997. However, it has not ratified it till now. The ratification by making a law on the subject is in the best interest of India due to following reasons:

  • It would facilitate the extraditions of Indians from other countries, strengthening the rule of law in India.
  • It would be better served by adhering to international conventions.
  • In the era of increasing international cooperation on criminal on criminal matter, India.
  • It would facilitate the extradition of Indians from other countries, strengthening the rule of law in India.
  • It would enhance India’s credibility on human rights front.
  • In the era of increasing international cooperation on criminal matter, India’s interest would be better served by adhering to international conventions.
  • It will also support the people suffering from mental and other form of disabilities.

Q.3) The Supreme Court recently make instant triple talaq a criminal offence, the government is considering to amend the existing Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce ) Act,1986. Discuss the need for bringing such a change (GS-2)

Moving to make instant triple talaq or talaq-e-biddat a criminal offence, the government is considering, among changes in existing laws, amendments to The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986.

Need for changes:

In August, the Supreme Court, in a landmark 3-2 verdict, “set aside” the centuries-old practice of instant triple talaq in which Muslim men divorce their wives by uttering talaq three times in quick succession. Three of the five judges on the Constitution Bench called the practice un-Islamic and “arbitrary” and disagreed with the view that triple talaq was an integral part of religious practice.

But the minority ruling of then Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice S Abdul Nazeer underlined the primacy of Muslim personal law and said the practice enjoyed constitutional protection and was beyond the scope of judicial scrutiny. They were of the view that Parliament should consider an “appropriate” law to deal with the issue of talaq-e-biddat.

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