SC notice to Centre on petitions seeking uniform grounds for divorce, alimony
Two separate PILs stated that women across all religions ought to be treated equally and if some religious practices deny them their fundamental rights, such practices should not be protected
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Centre on separate petitions seeking uniform grounds of divorce and maintenance for citizens across the country.
Two separate PILs filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay stated that women across all religions ought to be treated equally and if some religious practices deny them their fundamental rights, such practices should not be protected.
The bench of CJI SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said, “We issue notice with caution.”
The bench said, “You are making us go into a direction which will encroach upon personal laws and demolish what the personal laws seek to achieve. “
Senior advocate Pinky Anand argued the petition for uniform grounds for divorce while senior advocate Meenakshi Arora argued the other petition seeking uniform maintenance and alimony grounds. Both petitions were filed by Upadhyay.
The petition on divorce said, “Grounds of divorce are neither gender neutral nor religion neutral. For example, adultery is a ground of divorce for Hindus, Christians and Parsis but not for Muslims. Incurable leprosy is a ground of divorce for Hindus and Christians but not for Parsis and Muslims. Impotency is a ground of divorce for Hindus-Muslims but not for Christian-Parsis. Underage marriage is a ground of divorce for Hindus but not for Christians, Parsis and Muslims.”
The bench asked, “Can we remove these discriminatory grounds without entering personal laws?”
The lawyers cited the Shayara Bano decision where the SC struck down triple talaq as unconstitutional.
The lawyers further cited judgments of the top court recommending Parliament to consider Uniform Civil Code. The court said that triple talaq was not found to have sanctity of law under Muslim personal laws. However, the bench sought response of the Centre on both petitions.