This past Saturday (24.03.2018) CLPR organized a workshop ‘Religion and Personal Laws’ at St. Joseph’s College of Law, Bengaluru. The session was attended by 80 first year students from the LLB and BA LLB programs. The discussion focused on the Triple Talaq case and the Constitutional Assembly Debates around the Uniform Civil Code.
The session started with a news video which introduced the debate on the practice of triple talaq. A discussion followed on the type of conversations that had taken place on this topic in the public space and among the attendees. The discussion then moved to the case as debated in the Supreme Court, starting with the issues raised by the petitioner and respondents.
The students worked through 5 worksheets (available in the resources section of this post), beginning with the one on the origin of the issues in this case. Many of the students for the first time, learnt about all the parties that had been involved, as this had not been covered by the mainstream news media. The workshop then moved on to the arguments that were heard and the six modalities of constitutional argument by Philip Bobbitt.
In the 2nd half of the session the arguments in the public forums and in the Court were examined against debates in the Indian Constituent Assembly. In particular the decision to not include UCC in the Constitution, the framers involved with this vision and the points they had made, were weighed against the then prevalent political situation. The insight gained was then applied to analysing the reasoning behind the judgements given 70 years after the adoption Constitution. And in understanding the role of the Supreme Court in contemporary India.
By the end of the workshop, the students had acquired a clear and nuanced understanding of the issues, arguments and judgments in the Triple Talaq case. They had also gained an appreciation of the historical debates that had taken place on the Uniform Civil Code and of why this case was critical to understanding the Constitution of India.