Rohit De’s article cited by Supreme Court of Pakistan in Ibrahim Khan v. Saima Khan

March 23, 2024
Rohit De’s article,  Mumtaz Bibi’s Broken Heart: The Many Lives of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939” 46:1 Indian Economic and Social History Review ( 2009) pp.105-130, was cited by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Ibrahim Khan v. Saima Khan, a case about the rights of Muslim women to seek a judicial dissolution of marriage. Justice Ayesha Malik, the first woman to serve on Pakistan’s Supreme Court, cites De’s article multiple times to explain the legislative history and political background of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (DMMA), 1939. 
The Court relied upon De’s exposition of the DMMA as a radical piece of social legislation which granted Muslim women greater rights to divorce than those held by other women in colonial India, ultimately holding that a Muslim woman’s right to seek judicial dissolution of marriage under the DMMA was independent and distinct from her right to seek khula under Islamic law. The Supreme Court’s decision overturned previous rulings by lower courts, holding that the female petitioner in this case had sought dissolution of marriage under the DMMA rather than khula and hence retained her right to dower.