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Muslim woman approaches SC against discriminatory Shariat law after she was given half the share in ancestral property as her brother: Details

On Friday (March 17), a Division Bench of Justices Krishna Murari and Sanjay Karol issued a notice in the matter. Ali was allotted only 1/2 the shares in her ancestral property as compared to her male counterparts.

A Muslim woman named Bushara Ali has filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the Indian Supreme Court, highlighting the discriminatory nature of Shariat Law in the distribution of property between male and female heirs.

On Friday (March 17), a Division Bench of Justices Krishna Murari and Sanjay Karol issued a notice in the matter. Ali was allotted only 1/2 the shares in her ancestral property as compared to her male counterparts. According to reports, she was granted 7/152 shares in her ancestral property while her brothers were granted 14/152 shares.

Aghast at the discrimination meted to her under the archaic Islamic law, she has approached the apex court in the hopes of redressal. While contending that a female is not entitled to an equal share of property at par with a man under Shariat, the petitioner said, “In spite of (the) guarantee of the Constitution, Muslim women are subjected to discrimination.”

Ali has challenged Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 for violating Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination) of the Indian Constitution. The contentious section of the Muslim Personal law states –

Notwithstanding any custom or usage to the contrary, in all questions (save questions relating to agricultural land) regarding intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of Personal Law, marriage, dissolution of marriage, including talaq, ila, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, maintenance, dower, guardianship, gifts, trusts and trust properties, and wakfs (other than charities and charitable institutions and charitable and religious endowments) the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).

The petition was filed through advocate Matthew Joy who argued that the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 is a pre-constitutional legislature and thus fell under Article 13 (1) of the Indian Constitution. It states

“All laws in force in the territory of India immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall, to the extent of such inconsistency, be void.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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