CASE: Abul Fata Mahomed Ishak v Russomoy Dhur Chowdury (1894)

This case exemplifies the complex influence of the British Privy Council on Islamic law (called “Muhammadan law”) in India during colonial rule. While the British rulers instituted their legal system in India, family and inheritance law often remained under the purview of the exponents of Islamic law. This case demonstrates the political and legal complexities of such a system. The court here heldthat a family endowment could not be formed under Islamic law. The principles underlying this decision, however, bore an uncanny similarity to English inheritance laws. This case exemplifies the complex influence of the British Privy Council on Islamic law (called “Muhammadan law”) in India during colonial rule. While the British rulers instituted their legal system in India, family and inheritance law often remained under the purview of the exponents of Islamic law. This case demonstrates the political and legal complexities of such a system. The court here held that a family endowment could not be formed under Islamic law. The principles underlying this decision, however, bore an uncanny similarity to English inheritance laws.