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Plea In Delhi HC Seeks Direction To Govt, To Implement Indian Civil Code With Best Practices From All Religions

28 Oct 2019 3:34 PM GMT
Plea In Delhi HC Seeks Direction To Govt, To Implement Indian Civil Code With Best Practices From All Religions
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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a writ of mandamus to the Union of India to prepare a model draft of Indian Civil Code "in spirit of Articles 14 and 44 of the Constitution of India within 3 months, 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." 

Filed by Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University, the Petition goes on to state that "An Indian Civil Code for all citizens throughout the territory of India is essential to promote fraternity, unity and national integration. It should proceed on the assumption that there is no connection between religion and personal laws in a civilized society. The object of Article 44 is not to encroach upon religious liberties guaranteed under Article 25." 
Article 44 of the Constitution of India provides that the State shall endeavor to secure for all citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India. The Petition relies on the Apex Court's comments rendered in the case of Shah Bano [(1985) 2 SCC 556] wherein it had observed that the State possessed a duty to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens of India, however no such endeavor had taken place yet; Article 44 remained a dead letter The purpose for instituting such a Code was to facilitate national integration by doing away with laws of conflicting ideologies. The same had also been observed in the case of John Vallamattom v. Union of India [AIR 2003 SC 2902]
In the Sarla Mudgal case [AIR 1995 SC 1531], the Supreme Court of India had held that "Article 44 is based on a concept that there is no necessary connection between religious and personal law in a civilized society. Article 24 guarantees religious freedom and Article 44 seeks to divest religion from personal law. Marriage, succession and like matter of secular character cannot be brought under Articles 25-27."
In order to restore the Unity and Integrity of the nation, the PIL was filed to put to rest diversity in personal matter with religious differentiation as they allegedly led to sentimental tension between different communities. In Jose Paulo Countinho v. Maria Luiza Valentina Pereira [Civil Appeal No. 7378/2010], former Chief Justice of India Deepak Gupta had remarked that Goa was a shining example of an Indian State which has a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all, regardless of religion expect while protecting certain limited rights.

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