ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Invasion of Criminal Law by Religion, Custom and Family Law

Family law, that decides on matters of social conduct and occupies the space demarcated by religion and custom largely makes up the `non-formal' aspect of the dual legal system in the country. The widespread and often insidious influence of family law, however, has been evident even in aspects of criminal law, which constitutes the formal legal system. This `criminalisation' of family law, the enduring presence of caste panchayats and the encroachment of religion and custom into criminal law has, this paper argues, led to a diminishing of the space and protection granted to women under the formal system. Its unfortunate consequences have also perpetuated certain ambiguities in the legal system and in some instances, even led to the denial of justice.

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