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PIL in SC asking for order on uniform grounds for divorce

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New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to frame guidelines for Uniform Grounds of Divorce and to declare as discriminatory other grounds of divorce, as prevalent in different communities, as violative of Articles 14, 15, 21.

The petitioner, Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a BJP spokesperson, filed a plea seeking directions to the Centre to take apposite steps to remove anomalies in the grounds of divorce and make them uniform for all citizens without prejudice on the basis of religion, race, cast, sex or place of birth in spirit of the Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 and international conventions.

Alternatively, he sought a direction to the Law Commission to examine the issue and give its suggestion within three months.

The petitioner contended: “Under-age marriage is grounds for divorce for Hindus, but not for Christians, Parsis and Muslims. Similarly, many other grounds for divorce are neither gender neutral nor religion neutral, though, equity equality and equal opportunity is the hallmark of socialist secular democratic republic like ours. The ongoing distinction is based on patriarchal and stereotypes and has no scientific backing, perpetrates de jure and de facto inequality against women and goes against the global trends.”

Through petition it has thus prayed to issue a writ order or direction or a writ in nature of mandamus to:

a)   direct the respondents to take apposite steps to remove anomalies in the grounds of divorce & make them uniform for all citizens without prejudice on the basis of religion, race, cast, sex or place of birth in spirit of the Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 and international conventions;

b)   alternatively, being custodian of the Constitution and protector of the fundamental rights, declare that the discriminatory grounds of divorce are violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution and frame guidelines for ‘Uniform Grounds of Divorce’ for all citizens, while considering the laws of divorce and international conventions;

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c) alternatively, direct the Law Commission of India to examine the laws relating to divorce and suggest ‘Uniform Grounds of Divorce’ for all citizens in spirit of Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 of the Constitution within three months, while considering the laws of divorce, the best practices of all religions and international conventions;

– India Legal Bureau

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