The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a public interest petition seeking direction to Parliament to enact a uniform civil code to put an end to alleged discrimination being faced by Muslim women and said it was not possible for courts to issue such a mandamus.
“How can a mandamus be issued on such an issue ? Constitutional goal is one thing and possibility of them being fulfilled is yet another thing. These are things in the realm of parliament and the supreme court cannot do anything”, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur told Senior Advocate Gopal Subramaniam who represented Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay a lawyer and BJP activist.
“Let people aggrieved in a community come to this court alleging discrimination. Has anybody come forward ? What cannot be done directly, you are trying to do indirectly. We cannot ask the parliament to bring the common civil code... tell us first, has anybody come from the community you are alleging discrimination? If an aggrieved Muslim had come, we would have still considered her case... but we cannot examine this on the basis of a PIL," the court said adding we had made clear out stand clear in a judgment in 1994.
“If you file such petitions without examining the legal position and earlier judgments, we are going to come down heavily on it”, the CJI warned the petitioner and Subramaniam. The Bench said that 21 years ago the apex court had declined to go into the issue of civil common code, and the position has not changed.
The Chief Justice Bench's refusal to entertain this plea even as another Bench of Justices Anil R. Dave and Adarsh Kumar Goel, in a judgment, directed a suo motu PIL to be filed in the Supreme Court to have a re-look at the issue of "gender discrimination" suffered by Muslim women in the country.
In a judgment by Justice Goel, the Bench said that it is time for the apex court to settle once and for all whether the Islamic personal law violated the fundamental rights of Muslim women.
Another bench led by Justice Vikramjit Sen had also recently asked the government to clarify whether there is any definite move to usher in the Uniform Civil Code.
The Apex Court refusal came even as law minister Sadananda Gowda had given positive signal about drafting the code. Last week the minister however said a code could not be finalized overnight, but only after detailed consultations with stakeholders and voices in the government.
Read the Full text of the Petition here.