Dr Saumya Uma
Assistant Professor - Law and Legal Studies
School of Law, Governance and Citizenship
Ambedkar University Delhi
Dr. Saumya Uma currently teaches at the School of Law, Governance and Citizenship at Ambedkar University Delhi. She has over 24 years combined experience as an advocate, researcher, writer, campaigner, trainer and academic. Her area of specialization is at the intersections of gender, human rights and the law. Her research interest currently is in the area of freedom of religion or belief and its relationship with women’s rights.
Under the Indian Equality Law Programme Visiting Fellowship, in the months of November-December 2019, Dr. Uma will work to finalise her 10,000 word research paper titled ‘At the Cross Roads of Women’s Rights and Freedom of Religion: A Critical Examination of Indian Equality Jurisprudence’ with the guidance of Dr. Tarunabh Khaitan. The paper seeks to examine if and how the Indian judiciary has balanced the issue of gender equality and freedom of religion, both of which are fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Three recent landmark judgments of the Supreme Court will be examined in this regard, namely Shayara Bano and Others vs. Union of India and Others (on the practice of triple talaq or unilateral instantaneous oral divorce by Muslim men), Shafin Jahan vs. Asokan K.M. (on women’s right to choice in marriage and religious conversion) and Indian Young Lawyers Association & Others vs. The State of Kerala and Others (on the exclusion of menstruating women from the Sabarimala temple). She will submit the completed paper for consideration of the Indian Law Review, and commit to publishing it in that journal if accepted.
Dr. Uma looks forward to the research-intensive environment at Melbourne Law School and hopes to benefit from interactions with legal scholars.