SC Notice to the Center on Petitions Seeking Uniform Grounds for Divorce and Alimony
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Center on separate petitions seeking uniform grounds for divorce and child support for citizens across the country.
Two separate PILs presented by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay stated that women of all religions should be treated equally and if some religious practices deny them their fundamental rights, such practices should not be protected.
CJI SA Bobde bank and judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said: “We issue notices with caution.”
The bank said: “You are making us go in a direction that will invade personal laws and demolish what personal laws seek to accomplish. “
Lead defender Pinky Anand argued for the uniform grounds for divorce petition, while lead defender Meenakshi Arora argued that the other petition sought uniform grounds for child support and alimony. Both requests were submitted by Upadhyay.
The divorce petition read: “The grounds for divorce are not gender or religion neutral. For example, adultery is grounds for divorce for Hindus, Christians, and Parsis, but not for Muslims. Incurable leprosy is a reason for divorce for Hindus and Christians, but not for Parsis and Muslims. Impotence is grounds for divorce for Hindu-Muslims, but not for Christian-Parsis. Juvenile marriage is grounds for divorce for Hindus, but not for Christians, Parsis and Muslims. “
The bank asked: “Can we eliminate these discriminatory grounds without going into personal laws?”
Lawyers cited Shayara Bano’s decision in which the SC annulled the triple talaq as unconstitutional.
The lawyers also cited higher court rulings recommending that Parliament consider the Uniform Civil Code. The court said the triple talaq had no sanctity of law under Muslim personal laws. However, the court sought the response of the Center in both petitions.