A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking "gender and religion-neutral" uniform grounds of maintenance and alimony for all citizens.
The petition filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay said, "Despite the eloquent provisions in the Indian Constitution, the Central Government has totally failed to provide even gender-neutral, religion-neutral uniform grounds of maintenance and alimony for all citizens" The petition sought the Law Commission to examine domestic and international laws and prepare a report on uniform grounds of maintenance and alimony within three months.
It also sought directions to the Centre to take appropriate steps to remove the prevailing anomalies in the grounds of maintenance and alimony and make them uniform for all citizens without discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
"Even after 73 years of Independence and 70 years of India becoming a socialist secular democratic republic, laws relating to maintenance and alimony are not only complex and cumbersome but also against the constitutional mandate of being equal, rational and just," the petition stated.
"Discriminatory maintenance and alimony reinforce patriarchal and stereotypical notions about women and thus any provision that perpetrates or reinforces discriminatory stereotypes against women is manifestly arbitrary," said the plea, while seeking gender and religious neutral uniform ground of maintenance and alimony keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and international conventions.