Justice for Muslim Women in India: the sinuous path of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board1

Authors

  • Jean-Philippe Dequen

Abstract

Muslim Women movements in India have been very active in the past decade, attracting attention both in the Sub-Continent and beyond. This article vows to present a particular trend of this activism centred on the legal sphere, moreover within the frame of the Muslim personal law system and its non-State adjudicative bodies. Through the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB), it will present the example of an attempt to challenge the ‘patriarchal’ legal discourse on Islamic Law by procuring an alternative dispute resolution forum specifically aimed at Muslim women’s issues, as well as advocating for a more gender equal interpretation of the Quran through the prism of ‘Islamic Feminism’. However, it will show that despite its President’s tremendous efforts, the AIMWPLB’s scope remains limited. Although establishing a somewhat successful mediation centre in the Lucknow area, it has for the moment failed to extend its reach in the rest of the Indian Territory. Likewise, its particular discourse on Islamic Law has had but little influence on its overall application in India, and paradoxically could even be counter-productive towards its progression towards a gender equalitarian interpretation.

References

Statutes (India)
The Indian evidence act. 1872. Sections 45, 112
The Muslim personal law (shariat) application act. 1937.
The Constitution of India. 1950. Articles 17, 26, 44
Hindu succession act. 1956.
The code of criminal procedure. 1973. Section 125
The Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act. 1986
The wakf act. 1995. Hindu succession (amendment) act. 2005.

Cases (India)
Mohd. Ahmed khan v. Shah bano begum and ors. 1985. In All India Reporter, SC:945:
Supreme Court.
Anil kumar v. Turaka kondala rao and another. 1998. In Andhra Law Decisions, 5:44:
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Danial latifi v. Union of india. 2001. In Supreme Court Cases, 7:740: Supreme Court.
Dagdu s/o chotu pathan, latur v rahimbi dagdu pathan, ashabi... 2002. In Bombay Cases Reporter, 2003 (1):740: Bombay High Court.
S. Thangavelu v. S. Kannammal. 2004. In All India Reporter, 2005:106: Madras High Court.
Vishwa lochan madan vs. Union of india. 2005. Writ petition (civil) 386/2005 Supreme Court (still pending).
Mst. Gulshan v. Sh. Raisuddin. 2011. un-reported: Delhi District Court.

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Published

2015-12-01

How to Cite

Dequen, J.-P. (2015). Justice for Muslim Women in India: the sinuous path of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board1. NAVEIÑ REET: Nordic Journal of Law and Social Research, (3), 81–95. Retrieved from https://tidsskrift.dk/nnjlsr/article/view/111107