SC Declines to Issue Direction To Parliament For Framing Uniform Civil Code

The Supreme Court stated that it is the duty of the Parliament to frame uniform civil code and law on this point is settled. On Monday, the court said that it is not the duty of the court rather the Government’s obligation to formulate specific law and only the legislators can make a common code which will unite all the religious personal laws under single head. The bench consisted of Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justice A K Sikri and Justcie R Banumathi. The Court also stated that the observations made by this court on Uniform Civil Code will remain as expectations but it is not possible for the  court to issue mandamus directing the government to frame such law.

It was further observed that a person who is aggrieved by the infringement of rights and inequalities faced under personal law  have to approach the court. An unaffected party belonging to different community is not entitled to ask for uniform civil code. The court also reminded Senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium that the law in this regard is well settled. The view of the court is that the decision on this point is to be reached by the Parliament. It is not possible for this court to issue mandamus. Though the court understands the commitment of the petitioners to reach the constitutional objective, it cannot be achieved through mandamus, the court said.

The court was dealing with the petition filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who is an advocate and a BJP member. The Court also highlighted a judgment of the Supreme Court in 1993 where the court refused to issue such a direction stating that such matters are to be decided by the legislature. Though it was brought to the notice of the court that formulation of Uniform Civil Code was provided under Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Indian Constitution, the court responded that the court had at previous times in exceptional cases read the fundamental rights with directive principles, but it cannot be done here.

Adv. Jewel Panicker