‘Uniform Civil Code Is Public Policy Matter, No Direction Can Be Issued To Parliament’: Centre To Delhi High Court

By – Alankriti Narayan

The response was made to the Delhi High Court in the Centre’s counter-affidavit to BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay’s petition for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code throughout the country.

The petition asked the Centre to set up a Judicial Commission or a High-Level Expert Committee to draught a UCC in accordance with Article 44 of the Constitution, taking into account best practices from all religions and sects, as well as civil laws from developed countries and international conventions.

The Central Government has told the Delhi High Court that enforcing the Uniform Civil Code, which is a fundamental principle under the Constitution, is a matter of national policy, and that the Court cannot issue any orders in this regard.

The Centre further stated that the Parliament has the sovereign power to create laws and that no outside body or authority can order the enactment of a certain piece of legislation.

The Centre while making its argument took the support of the case Mool Chand Kucheria v. Union of India, where the Delhi HC had ruled that it would be inconvenient to believe that all laws must be made uniformly applicable to all persons at the same time.

Further, it was also stated that the petitioner does not hold the authority to order the executive, that is, the government to introduce legislation.

The Central Government had also requested the Law Commission of India to examine various issues relating to uniform civil code and make recommendations, owing to the sensitivity of the matter, which necessitates an in-depth study of the provisions of various personal laws governing different communities.

Based on the mentioned arguments the Centre seeks to dismiss the petition as non-maintainable, that is, unfeasible.

Justice Pratibha M Singh had expressed the need for a Uniform Civil Code last year, observing that the hope expressed under Article 44 of the Constitution should not remain a “mere hope,” after observing that Indian society is gradually becoming homogeneous and traditional barriers are gradually disappearing.