Reached Daily Limit?

Explore a new way of legal research!

Click Here
Indian Case Summary

Abdur Rahim Undre vs Padma Adbur Rahim Undre on 30 January, 1982 – Case Summary

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

In the case of Abdur Rahim Undre vs Padma Adbur Rahim Undre, heard by the Bombay High Court on 30th January 1982, the court was tasked with examining a complex dispute involving marriage, religion, and domicile.

Facts of the Case

The appellant-plaintiff, Dr. Abdur Rahim Undre, married the respondent-defendant, Smt. Padma, in the United Kingdom on 5th May 1966. At the time of marriage, Abdur Rahim was a Muslim, while Padma was a Hindu. Both were Indian citizens, held Indian passports, and their domicile was India. They had three children together. The appellant-plaintiff claimed that Padma converted to Islam on 29th December 1969, and a Nikah ceremony was performed. However, Padma denied these claims.


The key issues in the case revolved around the validity of the marriage, the alleged conversion of Padma to Islam, the subsequent Nikah ceremony, and the divorce (talaq) given by Abdur Rahim. The plaintiff sought a declaration from the court that Padma was no longer his wife and an injunction against her entering his residential premises. Padma, on the other hand, claimed joint ownership of the flat and denied the allegations of conversion, Nikah, and divorce.

Court’s Observations

The court found that the marriage, which took place in England, was performed according to the British Marriage Act, 1949, and was thus a monogamous and secular marriage. The court rejected the argument that the presence of two Muslim witnesses at the marriage could convert it into a ‘Nikah Fasid’ (irregular marriage) under Muslim law.

The court also held that the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969, governed the marriage. The Act, which provides for the marriage of Indian citizens outside India, does not require the continuance of the original religion as a condition for getting a divorce. The court rejected the argument that the Act was not retrospective and could not govern a marriage that took place before it came into force.

The court found that the plaintiff failed to prove that Padma had converted to Islam or that a Nikah ceremony had taken place. The court also found that the plaintiff failed to prove that he had divorced Padma according to Muslim law. The court held that the flat in question was the matrimonial home of Padma, and she was entitled to reside there.


In conclusion, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s suit, holding that the marriage performed under the British Marriage Act could not be dissolved under Muslim law, and that the plaintiff had failed to prove Padma’s conversion to Islam, the Nikah ceremony, and the divorce. The court also held that Padma was entitled to reside in the flat, which was deemed her matrimonial home.