The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to file a response on pleas seeking uniform ground for divorce, maintenance and alimony for all citizens, irrespective of the religion they followed.
A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat also asked the petitioners to give details about identical petitions as well so that they can be taken up for consideration together.
The petitions have also sought uniform adoption and guardianship, uniform succession and inheritance and uniform age of marriage.
One of the petitions sought uniform "gender and religion-neutral" grounds for all citizens in awarding maintenance and alimony in matrimonial disputes. It sought the removal of anomalies on the ground of succession and inheritance and to make them gender-neutral, religion-neutral, and uniform for all citizens.
Another plea sought "uniform grounds of divorce" for all citizens of the country, keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and international conventions.
The petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has stated that even after years of Independence and 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.
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.