ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Muslim Personal Law-Evading the Issue

THOSE who had expected that an illiterate, 75-year old Muslim woman from the small town of Indore in Madhya Pradesh would catalyse a movement for reform of Muslim personal law have, not surprisingly, suffered a disappointment. On November 15, in a statement issued under her thumb impression at a press conference in her home-town, Shah Bano appealed that the verdict of the Supreme Court granting her a maintenance allowance of Rs 179.20 per month be annulled as she had now come to realise that it constituted interference in Muslim personal law. Displaying a rather remarkable familiarity with the legal issues raised in the wake of the Supreme Court's judgment. Shah Bano averred further that Muslim women must be kept out of the purview of section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code dealing with provision of maintenance to a divorced wife and that the Constitution needed to be amended to exclude Muslims from the ambit of Article 44, which sets out the Directive Principle that "the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India".

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