On similar lines another seminar was also conducted in Mumbai. Bharatiya Stree Shakti organized a one-day national level consultative seminar on “Efficacy of Laws Pertaining to Marital and Property Rights of Women in Different Religions” in collaboration with National Commission for Women and with academic support of Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management, Development and Research, Mumbai, on 18th March 2017.
Advisory committee of legal experts was constituted and consulted for the Seminar. As pre-seminar activity n reach out program national level essay competition and poster competition were organized in which many Law and Political Science students participated. The aspects covered in seminar were- Divorce Law, Triple Talaq, Maintenance Law, Dower, Iddat, Mutah marriage, Custody of Children, Adoption Law, Coparcenary Rights, Right of a female in a joint dwelling place and Right of Hindu widows in matter of inheritance.
Program started by introduction of BSS by Smt. Kumudini Bhargav (General Secretary, Bharatiya Stree Shakti). Eminent speakers like Smt. Vijaya Rahatkar (Chairperson, Maharashtra State Commission for Women), Hon. Adv. Meeratai Khadakkar, (Former Principal Judge of Family Court, Nagpur), Hon. Adv. Sunanda Joshi, (Former Principal Judge, Family Court, Mumbai) and Adv. Girish Godbole (Senior Counsel, Mumbai High Court). Mr. Shamsuddeen Tamboli (President, Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal), Dr. Viney Kapoor (Commissioner, R.T.I., State of Punjab), Adv Kevic Setalvad (Senior Counsel, Bombay High Court) and contributed their legal expertise on various aspects.
Advisory Committee members (six), Resource Persons (eight), Dignitaries (eight) and 167 participants from 8 states of India deliberated to comprehend various aspects of law like Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Parsee and Tribal customary law along with Special Marriage Act; which helped to compile suggestions and recommendations for NCW.
Recommendations emerged after deliberations in seminar are – for all Indians one indigenous Indian Law which should be applicable to all its communities and religions which co-exist democratically is needed. Accommodating personal Laws of all religions under such a code is an uphill task, however the same is the need of the hour. Codification of a Common Civil Code may be the ultimate solution. Times have moved ahead but the Personal Laws have not kept pace with these changing times. The Courts in India perform the herculean task in giving solutions on a case to case basis. This no doubt may provide instant relief but it suffers from the danger of being biased or arbitrary. Law may be dealing with subjectivity but the redressal always has to be objective. Equality is not a concept; it is a way of life that has to be taught to every citizen and tutored to the coming generation.
The conclusions of both the seminars were submitted as recommendations to the National Commission of Women, as an advisory document for the formulation of comprehensive policy and law on the issue. The seminars were thought provoking on many levels and generated awareness, which is expected to disseminate in to society, further as well.