An application has been filed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board before the Delhi High Court seeking impleadment as a respondent party in a plea for Uniform Civil Code. It has also, in the alternative, sought dismissal of the said plea.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice Rajendra Menon had earlier issued notice to the Law Commission of India in the petition titled Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India, wherein the petitioner, a BJP Leader, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, had sought constitution of an expert committee to draft the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the spirit of Article 44 of the Constitution.
The Applicant is a non-government organization with an objective to adopt suitable strategies for the protection of Muslim personal law in India and has represented the Muslim population in court in matters pertaining to Section 377 of IPC, Triple Talaq, etc. It has moved the present application through Advocate M. R. Shamshad, concerned by the impact the petition for UCC may have on practical aspects of Muslim personal laws.
By way of this impleadment application, AIMPL has submitted that the aforementioned petition is not maintainable in as much as it seeks judicial interference to direct the legislature to frame laws. He relied on the Supreme Court's judgment in State of HP v. Satpal Saini, (2017) 11 SCC 42, to submit that legislature and judiciary were equal pillars and judiciary did not have the power to issue a mandamus towards legislative inaction. "…Court does not have the power or function to direct the executive to adopt a particular policy or the legislation to convert it into enacted law."
He further relied on Dattaraj Nathuji Thaware v. State of Maharashtra, (2005) 1 SCC 590, and said that the petition in the veil of public interest was rather politically motivated and should be dismissed with exemplary costs.
The applicant also submitted that the issue raised in the petition was res integra in as much as it was settled by the Supreme Court in 2003 and the Petitioner should have refrained from filing such an unnecessary petition. Reliance was placed on State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal, (2010) 3 SCC 402, wherein the Apex Court had held that "…The petitioner ought to have known that the controversy which he has been raising in the petition stands concluded half a century ago …The controversy involved in this case is no longer res integra. It is unfortunate that even after such a clear enunciation of the legal position, a large number of similar petitions have been filed from time to time in various High Courts. The petitioner ought to have refrained from filing such a frivolous petition."
The Petition for UCC was filed by the Petitioner aggrieved by the diversity in the personal matters along with religious differentiation which according to him lead to sentimental tension between different communities. It was also submitted therein that gender justice and gender equality could not be achieved without implementing UCC in the spirit of Article 44 read with Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution.
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