ANR Programme 2009-2013
image of courtroom
A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Religion and the Courts (India, Nepal), 18-19 June, 2012

Starting April 17, 2012 - Ending April 22, 2020

This international workshop (Paris, June 18-19, 2012) aimed at exploring the role of the judiciary in the effective implementation of the Constitution’s secular ideal.

Religion and the Courts (India, Nepal)
June 18 & 19, room 638, 6th Floor, 192-198 Avenue de France, Paris 13th Arrondissement
Conveners: Daniela BERTI, Gilles TARABOUT, Raphaël VOIX


For more details see the full programme

Session 1: Ascetics and the Law
Monday, June 18, Morning

Discussant: Monika BOEHM-TETTELBACH (SAI, University of Heidelberg)

  • France BHATTACHARYA (Emeritus Professor INALCO, Centre for South Asian Studies), British Colonial Justice and the Lustful Mohunt.
  • Raphaël VOIX (ANR Just-India / Centre for South Asian Studies), Defining and Reforming Hinduism through Court Jurisdiction. Understanding the Tandava Case in its Context (1979-2004).
  • Catherine CLEMENTIN-OJHA (EHESS, Centre for South Asian Studies), Does the Habit make the Monk? The Juridical Definition of the Religious State in a Judgment of the District Court of Allahabad in 1968 Concerning Devolution of Shebaitship.
  • Malavika KASTURI (University of Toronto), ‘This Land is Mine’: Mahants, Devotional ‘Publics’ and Civil Courts in 20th Century North India.
Session 2: How Personal is Personal Law?
Monday, June 18, Afternoon

Discussants: Pratiksha BAXI (JNU) & Jeff REDDING (Saint-Louis University School of Law)

  • Srimati BASU (University of Kentucky), Unfair Advantage?: Polygyny and Adultery in Indian Personal Law.
  • Jean Louis HALPÉRIN (École Normale Supérieure, Paris), Recent Evolutions in Case Law Concerning Hindu Marriage.
  • Marc GALANTER (University of Wisconsin & LSE)& Alexander FISCHER (School of Law, SOAS), Caste, Courts and the De-Sanskritization of Hindu Law.
Session 3: Gods’ Affairs
Tuesday June 19, Morning

Discussant: Christopher J. FULLER (LSE)

  • Daniela BERTI (CNRS, Centre for Himalayan Studies), Filing Religion. The Judicialisation of a Religious Conflict in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Deepa DAS ACEVEDO (University of Chicago), Divine Bachelors, Female Devotees, and Constitutional Protections at Sabarimala, 2006-2011.
  • Ute HÜSKEN (University of Oslo), Slaves and Sons: The Court Dynamics of a Religious Dispute in South India.
  • Gilles TARABOUT (CNRS, Laboratoire d’Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative), Birth vs. Merit: Courts and Changes in Temple Practice.
Session 4 : Implementing Secularism
Tuesday June 19, Afternoon

Discussant : Christophe JAFFRELOT (CNRS, Centre d’Études et de Relations Internationales)

  • Chiara LETIZIA (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Defining Nepali Secularism through the Judiciary: Two Case Studies from the Nepal Supreme Court.
  • Justin JONES (University of Exeter), Courts Outside the State – the Debate on Dar-ul-qaza’s in Modern India.
  • Marc GALANTER (University of Wisconsin & LSE) & Alexander FISCHER (School of Law, SOAS), Compensatory Discrimination Policies and the Identification of Beneficiaries: Religious, Required and Forbidden Categories in Indian Courts.