Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No. 26: The Muslim Personal Law (SHARIAT) Application Act, 1937


Existing Provisions

Section 2 : Application of Personal Law to Muslims - Not withstanding any customs or usage to the contrary, in all questions save questions relating to agricultural land regarding interstate 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, trust 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).

Section 3 : Power to make a declaration - 1) Any person who satisfied the prescribed authority - a) that he is a Muslim, and b) that he is competent to contract within the meaning of section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and c) that he is resident of (the territories to which this Act extends) may be declaration in the prescribed from and filed before the prescribed authority declare that he desires to obtain the benefit of (the provisions of this section), and thereafter the provisions of section 2 shall apply to be declarant and all his minor children and their descendants as if in addition to the matters enumerated therein adoption, (wills and legacies) were also specified. 2) Where the prescribed authority refuses to accept a declaration under sub-section (1), the person desiring to make the same may appeal to such officer as the State Government may, by general or special order, appoint in this behalf, and such officer may if he is satisfied that the appellant is entitled to make the declaration, order the prescribed authority to accept the same.

Suggested Amendments by NCW

Section 2 : Application of personal Law to Muslims - the following words shall be deleted - '(save questions relating to agricultural land)'. And (other than charities and charitable institutions and charitable and religious endowments).' The Section will be read as ' Notwithstanding any customs or usage of the contrary, in all questions regarding intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contact 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 the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslim shall be the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).

Section 3 : Power to make a declaration - The words 'wills and legacies' shall be deleted from clause ( c ) of sub-section ( 1 ) of section 3. This section will be read as - 'i) Any person who satisfies the prescribed authority - a) that he is a Muslim, and b)that he is competent to contract within the meaning of section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and that he is a resident of (the territories to which this Act extends), may be declaration in the prescribed form and filed before the prescribed authority declare that he desires to obtain the benefit of (the provisions of this section), and thereafter the provisions of section 2 shall apply to the declarant and all his minor children and their descendants as if in addition to the matters enumerated therein adoption, was also specified.

Justification : Section 3 - Power to make a declaration - 'To help Muslim daughters, sisters and wives in getting their shares of property. The existing provision deprive the women from getting their shares in inheritance.

 

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