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Part VII Rights—Substance and Content, Ch.50 Personal Laws

Flavia Agnes

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution

Edited By: Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, Pratap Bhanu Mehta

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 October 2020

This chapter examines the legal framework for personal laws in India. It begins with an overview of the legal system introduced for personal laws during colonial rule, along with the evolution of legislation for such laws. It then considers Hindu law reforms following Independence and goes on to discuss the manner in which the courts have tackled the challenges to the constitutionality of personal laws. In particular, it explores two approaches used by the courts to test personal laws on the touchstone of fundamental rights: the non-interventionist approach and the scrutinising approach. The chapter concludes by assessing Article 44 of the Indian Constitution and the debate over the Uniform Civil Code.

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