The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre through the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Home Affairs to file their responses in six weeks on a plea seeking direction for drafting of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by the Law Commission.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Danish Eqbal, and others seeking the implementation of the UCC.
Upadhyay, appearing in the matter, submitted that he examined the last 70 years’ reports of the Law Commission, and found that only 15 reports were prepared on the direction of the Central government, and other reports were either suo moto or on the direction of the court.
The High Court on December 12 had issued notice on the plea that sought direction for drafting the UCC.
The plea said that “One Nation – One Civil Law is a basic dictum of any socialist secular democratic republic like India, and that gender justice, gender equality & dignity of women, an integral part of Articles 14, 15 and 21, cannot be secured without a UCC”.
One of the petitioners had said that uniformity in the age of marriage, grounds of divorce, maintenance and alimony, succession, adoption, etc. is important for gender equality.
Eqbal, pointing out discrimination faced by Muslim women, had contended before the court that people practice polygamy even now,
“Muslim parents can marry their teenage daughters because the minimum age of marriage is defined as puberty… although WHO says that pregnancy before 20 years is the root cause of many diseases and is injurious,” Eqbal had said.
He added even though “instant Triple Talaq is now void and unconstitutional but other forms of oral talaq viz. Talaq-e-Hasan and Talaq-e-Ahasan still prevail. Therefore, women are always under pressure and fear”.
He had said that Muslim women are deprived of the benefits of ‘Stree Dhan’, and articles that she bring with her during the marriage, are also enjoyed by the husband after divorce.