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A woman's "DNA does not evaporate" if she marries someone outside her religion: Supreme Court

"There is no law which says that a woman loses religious identity after marrying a man from another faith," said the Supreme Court.

A wife does not necessarily need to imbibe and accept her husband's religion just because she happens to be from another, said the Supreme Court in a historic judgement last week.

A judgement that would surely bring a smile on the faces of women in inter-religious marriages, the Supreme Court disagreed with the verdict given by the Gujarat High Court that a husband's religion becomes the wife's after marriage and that she should adapt to his faith.

A wife's "DNA does not evaporate" after marriage: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court also requested the Valsad Zoroastrian trust to rethink its decision disallowing a Parsi woman from entering the Tower of Silence to attend the funeral of her parents as she had married a man from another religion.

The Parsi woman, Goolrokh M Gupta, had challenged the Parsi customary law but the Gujarat High Court upheld it and this is when she challenged the HC's decision in the Supreme court.

She got married to a non-Parsi in 1991 and was denied entry into the Parsi temple of fire when her parents passed away. Even her sister Shiraz has married a man outside their religion and that's when both sisters challenged the apex court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that also included Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan also maintained that it was ironic that the same rule did not hold for a Parsi man if he marries a woman from another religion.

A woman does not lose her identity in an inter-faith marriage

"There is no law which says that a woman loses religious identity after marrying a man from another faith... Moreover, the Special Marriage Act is there and allows that two persons can marry and maintain their respective religious identities," the bench said.

The Court also added that if that is the case than a man should also be not allowed to retain his religious identity after marriage.

"A man marries outside the community and is permitted to retain his religious identity and a woman is not allowed to marry outside and retain her religious identity. How can a woman be debarred...," the bench added.

The next hearing is scheduled for December 14.

Read: Mangalsutra and sindoor cannot alone validate a marriage