Case study: Sarla Mudgal vs Union Of India

It is a landmark judgement that held the practice of conversion of religion in order to secure a second marriage which is against the principle of justice and equity even when the first Hindu Marriage is undissolved.


The case consists of 4 petitioners under article 32 of the constitution of India. The first one was Kalyani, a NGO that works for needy people and the women who are distressed. This NGO works for their welfare and is headed by Sarla Mudgal.  Second petitioner was Meena Mathur, who married to Jitendra Mathur in 1988, one day Meena finds that her husband has converted to Islam and married to another women and her name is Sunita Narula and also known as Fatima. Sunita Narula is the 3 petitioner who states that Jitender after marrying her, under the influence of his first wife gave an undertaking he had reverted back into Hinduism and agreed to maintain his children and first wife. The fourth petitioner Geeta Rani married Pradeep Kumar as she was suffering from physical and mental violence by her husband. Later she finds out that her husband has been secretly converted into Islam and has had been married to another women in 1991.

Whether a person married under Hindu law, solemnize a second marriage by embracing Islam?

Whether such marriage would be valid, without dissolving first marriage under hindu law?

Whether the apostate is guilty of bigamy under section 494 of IPC?


 Its judgment in 1995 laid down the principle of practicing second marriage by converting into Islam, without dissolving first marriage. This verdict discuss the issue of bigamy and it also discuss that practicing second marriage without being dissolved first marriage as this is not acceptable in HINDU MARRIAGE ACT 1955, and this is completely a violation of article 44 of Indian constitution and section 494 of Indian penal code. The court held that the first marriage has to be dissolved under the Hindu marriage Act, 1955. As it is said in the judgment that the man’s  first marriage would therefore still be valid and under Hindu law ,and the second marriage is solemnized  after his conversion that would be considered as illegal under sec 494 of  IPC.