Facts: Smt Sushmita Ghosh, who is the wife of Shri G.C. Ghosh (Mohd. Karim Ghazi) filed a writ petition stating that she was married to Shri G.C. Ghosh in accordance with Hindu rites on 10-5-1984 and since then both of them were happily living at Delhi.

Issue: The pleadings in Sushmita Ghosh case and the order passed by this Court in the writ petitions filed separately by Smt Sarla Mudgal and Ms Lily Thomas, the principal question was that where a non-Muslim gets converted to the Muslim faith without any real change of belief and merely with a view to avoid an earlier marriage or to enter into a second marriage, whether the marriage entered into by him after conversion would be void.


• Though freedom of religion is a matter of faith, the said freedom cannot be used as a garb for evading other laws where the spouse becomes a convert to ―Islam for the purpose of avoiding the

first marriage. She pleaded in clear terms that it may be stated that respondent 3 has converted to Islam solely for the purpose of remarrying and has no real faith in islam. He does not practise the Muslim rites as prescribed nor has he changed his name or religion and other official documents.

• The important words used in Section 494 are marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of it taking place during the life of such husband or wife. These words indicate that before an offence under Section 494 can be said to have been constituted, the second marriage should be shown to be void in a case where such a marriage would be void by reason of its taking place in the lifetime of such husband or wife. The words ―husband or wife are also important in the sense that they indicate the personal law applicable to them which would continue to be applicable to them so long as the marriage subsists and they remain ―husband and wife.

• “Religion is a matter of faith stemming from the depth of the heart and mind. Religion is a belief which binds the spiritual nature of man to a supernatural being; it is an object of conscientious devotion, faith and pietism. Devotion in its fullest sense is a consecration and denotes an act of worship. Faith in the strict sense constitutes firm reliance on the truth of religious doctrines in every system of religion. Religion, faith or devotion are not easily interchangeable. If the person feigns to have adopted another religion just for some worldly gain or benefit, it would be religious bigotry.” SAGHIR AHMAD J

Held: The writ petition was disposed of seeking clarification of Article 44 of the Constitution with respect to uniform civil code.