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Polygamy, Religion & India's Constitutional Views



  Aug 28, 2023

Polygamy,Doctrine of Essential Religious Practice and Constitution of India


Q: What is the legal background related to the legislative authority regarding marriage?

A: As per the Indian Constitution, both the Union and States hold the power to legislate on specific subjects. Marriage falls under the Concurrent List, granting both levels of government the ability to create laws related to it.
 

Q: What is the Doctrine of Repugnancy?

A: The Doctrine of Repugnancy, found in Article 254 of the Constitution, stipulates that if a state law contradicts a central law, the state law will be invalidated unless it has prior approval from the President of India.
 

Q: How do Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution relate to this situation?

A: Articles 25 and 26 guarantee the freedom of religious practice and conscience. However, these rights are subject to considerations of public order, morality, health, and legislative provisions for social welfare and reform. Courts also consider the Doctrine of Essentiality when evaluating religious practices.
 

Q: What is the Doctrine of Essentiality and how does it relate to polygamy?

A: The Doctrine of Essentiality states that for a religious practice to be safeguarded, it must be an integral and essential aspect of a religion. In the context of polygamy within Islam, courts have ruled that having multiple wives is not an intrinsic component of the religion. Therefore, laws limiting the practice of polygamy align with the Doctrine of Essentiality and are not seen as infringing upon the freedom of religious practice.


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