Uniform Civil Code? Plea in SC seeks 'uniformity' in laws on divorce and alimony, Centre issued notice

The debate on uniform civil code looks set to be reignited as the Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices on a plea seeking directions to Centre to make the personal laws on divorce and alimony uniform across all religions.

Chief Justice of India SA Bobde added that the bench is issuing notices with "great caution".

Two PILs have been filed seeking direction to bring uniformity in matters of divorce and alimony across all religions.

The CJI told petitioner's counsel that the court can grant a hearing in the plea, but problem is why should Hindu and Muslim community be brought on par like this. Chief Justice said, "How will you decide whether to adopt what is in Hinduism, Islam or Christianity?"

The counsel replied that if religious rights infringed upon the fundamental rights then such rights cannot be considered

Concluding the hearing, Chief Justice said, "We are issuing notice with great caution".

Chief Justice observed during the hearing that how could the court remove discriminatory practices without interfering in personal laws.

The bench also queried does Article 14 prove to be an injunction against the state? And, on the basis of Article 14 and 15, the bench added should there be more grounds of divorce?

Senior advocate Meenaskshi Arora, representing the petitioner, contended that the state has to ensure certain rights and dignity under the Constitution and if a religious right is abusing the right then the state has to step in. The Hindu law was codified but not the Muslim law, she added.

The pleas, reportedly filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, seek direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Law and Justice and Women and Child Development in this regard.

The plea seeks the removal of personal laws as they are discriminatory under Art. 14,15 and other provisions of International Covenants.

(With agencies)

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