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Law Service

Personal Law

Legislative History

India is a country where people follow different religions, have different cultures and speak different languages. All this diversity can be correctly called as the biggest highlight of the Indian Society. Indians have different religious beliefs. People belonging to different religious communities co – exist together but they all have their own respective laws which govern their matters of marriage, adoption, succession etc. This difference in personal laws is based on the fact that each religion is based on a different principle and each religious sect follows a set of beliefs and ideals. Indian Constitution grants its citizens the right to follow their religion in matters of marriage, adoption, succession etc. This very freedom enshrined in the constitution gives the right to Hindus, Muslims, and Christians to follow their personal laws.

Personal Law in India

Personal Law is a wide branch of law. The laws governing the matters of marriage, divorce, adoption and successions are different for people belonging to different religious community. Hindus have their own respective laws governing the issues of marriage, adoption and succession and the same is the case with that of Muslims. Each religious community has their own set of laws governing their personal matters and these personal laws are based on their religious beliefs and principles.

Hindus are governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 with regard to marriage, and the eligibility conditions of the bride and the groom for the marriage. Conditions for divorce are also specified under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and divorce can be obtained on the grounds of Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion for two years, Conversion in religion, Unsound mind, Suffering from venereal disease and/or Leprosy has renounced the world not heard for 7 years no resumption of co-habitation for one year after the decree of judicial separation, no restitution of conjugal rights for one year after decree for restitution of conjugal rights. Issues related to maintenance and adoption is governed by the Hindu Maintenance and Adoptions Act.

Muslims in India are governed by their personal law which is codified under Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937. The Act deals with the issues of “Nikah”, “Talak”. However for a Muslim woman to obtain divorce certain conditions are necessary. For Parsees there is a Parsee Marriage & Divorce Act, 1939 which governs the provisions of their marriage and law and for Indian Christian there is a Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889. Persons of any religion who get married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are governed by the said act. There are certain penal provisions also in the Criminal Procedure Code providing for the maintenance of the wife and punishment for bigamy.

Client Segments

Personal laws govern the issues of marriage, adoption, succession etc. These laws affect many activities which a person does. If a person gets married then whether the marriage is valid or not and what are the grounds on which he can obtain a divorce is specified by the personal law which is applicable to him. If a person dies then the manner in which his children or other relatives would inherit the property is all decided by the personal law.

Related Enactments

Hindu Marriage Act 1955
The Act specifies the law governing the issues of marriage and divorce among Hindus.

Hindu Succession Act 1956
The Act governs the issues of succession among Hindus.

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956
This Act defines and states the law with regard to minority and guardianship among Hindus.

Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act 1956
The maintenance obligations and the process of adoption for Hindus is governed by this Act

Special Marriage Act 1954
This Act governs the issue of marriage between people belonging to two different religions.

Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937
The Muslims in the country are governed by Muslim kaw.

Indian Succession Act 1925
The Act law is applicable to intestate and testamentary succession.

Parsee Marriage and Divorce Act , 1936
The Act specifies the law relating to marriage and divorce among Parsis.

Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889
The Act specifies the law governing the issue of marriage among Christians.

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
It is the code of procedure with regard to criminal procedures.