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Bombay HC’s order that the religion of wife mergers with the religion of her husband after marriage has been set aside by the Supreme Court. The SC has requested the Valsad Zoroastrian Trust to re- evaluate its decision of debarring a Parsi Woman to perform the last rites of her parents only because she married a person of different religion.
The court headed by the bench Chief Justice Dipak Mishra, DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar stated that it is arbitrary on the part of trust to not let the woman enter the tower just because she married outside the community when the same restriction is not placed on Parsi man marrying outside the community. The court further said that woman cannot be barred from their civil rights on the ground of marriage.
The Senior Advocate Indira Jaisingh appearing on behalf of the petitioner woman, who is a parsi by birth and has married a hindu man submitted that the marriage does not mean that woman has mortgaged herself to her husband and there is no law which restricts entry of women in the tower of silence just because she married outside her community and so the ruling of Bombay HC is not correct.
The court making a reference to Special Marriage Act stated that the Act was enacted with a view that people from different religions can marry each other and retain their marriage by preserving their individual religious identities even after marriage. The court further stated that thus the question of merger of wife’s religion with husband does not arises.