Supreme Court Guidelines

UNIFORM CIVIL CODE

Sarla Mudgal, President, Kalyani v. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 1531: (1995) 3 SCC 635

1. The Successive Government till-date have been wholly remiss in their duty of implementing the constitutional mandate under article 44 of the Constitution of India.

2. We, therefore, request the Government of India through the Prime Minister of the country to have a fresh look at article 44 of the Constitution of India and “endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”

3. We further direct the Government of India through Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice to file an affidavit of a responsible officer in this Court in August, 1996 indicating therein the steps taken and efforts made, by the Government of India, towards securing a “uniform civil code” for the citizens of India. Sahai, J. in his short and crisp supporting opinion has suggested some of the measures which can be undertaken by the Government in this respect.

Questions involved in this Case
Whether a Hindu husband, married under Hindu Law, by embracing Islam, can solemnise second marriage? Whether such a marriage without having the first marriage dissolved under Law, would be a valid marriage qua the first wife who continue to be Hindu? Whether the apostate husband would be guilty of the offence under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Answer
We hold that the second marriage of a Hindu-husband after conversion to Islam, without having his first marriage dissolved under law, would be invalid. The second marriage would be void in terms of the provisions of section 494, I.P.C. and the apostate-husband would be guilty of the offence under section 494, I.P.C.

Source: M A Rahid, Supreme Court Guidelines and Precedents, Universal

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