Implementation of the Uniform Civil Code – Associated Issues

The Supreme Court recently sought a reply from the Centre on a PIL seeking gender and religion-neutral uniform grounds of succession and inheritance for citizens in the country. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde issued notice to the Ministries’ of Home Affairs, Law and Justice, and Women and Child Development on the plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. The plea argued that succession and inheritance are crucial, as they impact the right to life, liberty and dignity, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The petitioner contended that discriminatory grounds of succession and inheritance not only reinforce patriarchal stereotypical notions but also contravene principles of gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women guaranteed. This is the fourth PIL in the last three months on issues that constitute together the spectrum to be covered under the Uniform Civil Code. The earlier three PILs deal with issues of uniform adoption laws, uniform divorce, maintenance and alimony law, and a uniform, gender neutral, minimum age for marriage. All of these petitions contend that even after 70 years of independence, there is discrimination on the basis of gender and religion, and the court cannot remain a mute spectator to the denial of these basic rights. So what is the answer to enforce equality end discrimination on different grounds. Will a common civil code help remove disparities, And if yes, is it time to move towards its implementation?

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