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Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, has filed a PIL in Delhi High Court seeking a writ of mandamus to the Union of India to draft an ‘Indian Civil Code’ in the spirit of Article 14 and Article 44 of the Constitution of India within three months, and publish it for extensive public debate, discussion and feedback.

The petition urges the execution of Apex Court’s directives in executing a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) while considering the best practices of all religions and sects, civil laws of the developed countries and international conventions, in order to secure gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women.

Notably, petitioner Firoz Bakht Ahmed is a Columnist, Educationist, Political Analyst and grandnephew of Freedom Fighter and first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Speaking to India Legal, Mr. Ahmed said, “The issues like instant triple talaq in Islam or other inconsistent practices in other personal laws can be eliminated by applying a Uniform Civil Code. This will benefit all in the long run.”

The PIL seeks UCC to promote fraternity, unity and national integration and proceeds on the assumption that there is no connection between religion and personal laws in a  civilized society.

Mr. Ahmed, in his petition, has submitted, “A belief seems to have gained ground that it is for the Muslims community to take a lead in the matter of reforms of their personal law. But it is the State which is charged the duty of securing a uniform civil code for the citizens of this country. This duty has been imposed on the state with the object of achieving national integration by removing disparate loyalties, which have conflicting ideologies.”

While stating lack of political courage for government’s inactivity on this aspect since independence, the petition also states, “We understand difficulties involved in bringing persons of different faiths and persuasion on common platform, but beginning has to be made, if the Constitution has any meaning; it is beyond endurance of sensitive minds to allow injustice when it is so palpable. Piecemeal attempts to bridge the gap cannot take the place of Common Code. Justice to all is far more satisfactory way of dispensing justice than justice from case to case.”

Court is yet to list the matter.

— India Legal Bureau

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