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Uniform Civil Code: Supreme Court to examine PIL by Shazia Ilmi for direction to Centre

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The Supreme Court has decided to examine the PIL  filed by BJP leader Shazia Ilmi for a direction to the Centre for framing a standardised uniform and common code for maintenance for wife, children and aged parents along with alimony.It also decided to examine the existing restrictions, conditions and discrepancy in the personal laws.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Justice J K Maheshwari read the petition, filed by advocate Sneha Kalita, along with a similar pending plea by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The petitioner was represented by senior advocate Garima Prasad and advocate Kalita.

The petitioner said that the uniform grounds for maintenance irrespective of personal laws in case of Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsi,is a matter of human rights and fundamental rights enshrined in the Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

The petition also spoke on length about the States’ responsibility under Article 44 of the Constitution and International Conventions which India is a signatory party.

The plea said  that the cause of action accrued on September 13, 2019 when the Apex Court in case of ‘Jose Paulo Coutinho vs Maria Luiza Valentina Pereira’ (2019) once again reiterated the need of uniform civil code as per Article 44 of the Constitution and stated that there has been effort taken for framing of a Uniform Civil code which is applicable to all citizens of the country despite exhortations of this court in the case of ‘Md Ahmed Khan vs Shah Bano Begum’ (1985) and ‘Sarla Mudgal vs Union of India’ (1995).

The plea talked of It contended that the injury caused to public is large because ‘maintenance and alimony’ is one of the most crucial elements of life and generally comes in court of law.

The plea said that for many people the maintenance alimony is the only source of livelihood so discrimination on the basis of religion race caste sex or place of birth is a direct attack on right to life liberty and dignity,which the Indian Constitution  guarantees under Article 14 and 21.

The petition said that there is an urgent requirement for promotion of this uniformity for the Secular India. The Law Commission can take this further through its monitoring and provide certain guidelines securing a gender and religion neutral Uniform Civil Code.

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