Won’t entertain PIL on Uniform Civil Code: SC

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Old 08-Dec-2015
Post Won’t entertain PIL on Uniform Civil Code: SC

The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a PIL plea for directing Parliament to enact a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), replacing the existing religion-based personal laws that were discriminatory, particularly against Muslim women in matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance and inheritance. “We cannot direct Parliament to enact laws,” a three-member Bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur told the petitioner, Ashini Upadhayay, a BJP spokesman.
Arguing for the petitioner, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium pleaded that the court should at least direct the government to enact UCC. Rejecting this, the Bench said this plea also amounted to seeking a directive to Parliament in an indirect way. “How can we even tell Parliament indirectly by asking the government to do it,” the Bench explained.
Subramanium said he was aware of the fact that “usually” the judiciary could not issue any directive to Parliament. “What do you mean usually? Can we issue a mandamus in exceptional circumstances? No, this is not done,” the Bench clarified.
“The law is well settled on the issue. Don’t waste our time. We will come down very heavily for approaching us without examining the legal position properly,” the Bench advised the petitioner. Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi were the other members of the Bench. The apex court also took exception to the fact that none of those affected by the personal laws had approached it. “Let the affected communities take care of it. Why Mr Upadhayay should come to us,” the Bench wanted to know.
It allowed the petitioner to withdraw the PIL, but clarified that Subramanium had argued the case before doing so. The petitioner had contended that Article 44 stated that “the State shall endeavour to secure for citizens a UCC throughout the territory of India.” Because UCC was the dream of Constitution makers, it was the duty of the state to apply the principles laid down in Part IV of the Constitution, it was pleaded.

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