New Delhi : A PIL seeking 'uniform grounds of divorce' for all citizens throughout India in spirit of the Constitution and international conventions has been filed in the Supreme Court.
The plea filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought directions to the Centre to take steps to remove anomalies in divorce laws and make them uniform for all citizens without prejudice on the basis of religion, race, cast, sex or place of birth.
"The Court may declare that the discriminatory grounds of divorce are violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and frame guidelines for 'Uniform Grounds of Divorce' for all citizens.
"Alternatively, this Court may direct the Law Commission to examine the laws of divorce & suggest 'Uniform Grounds of Divorce' for all citizens in spirit of Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 within 3 months, while considering international laws and international conventions," the plea said.
"Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains have to seek divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Muslim, Christian and Parsis have their own personal laws. Couple belonging to different religions have to seek divorce under the Special Marriage Act, 1956," the plea said.
"If either partner is foreign national then he has to seek divorce under Foreign Marriage Act 1969. Hence, grounds of divorce are neither gender neutral nor religion neutral," the plea said
It is averred in the petition that despite well-expressed provisions in the Constitution itself, Centre has failed to provide "Uniform Grounds of Divorce" for all citizens throughout the territory of India.
"The injury caused to the public is large because divorce is among the most traumatic misfortunes for men and women but even after 73 years of independence, divorce procedures are very complex and neither gender neutral nor religion neutral" the petition advanced.
The petition submitted that the facts constituting cause of action accrued on 13.09.2019 and continue, when the Hon'ble Court in Jose Paulo Coutinho Case once again pressed the need of uniform civil laws and cited the example of Goa but Centre even failed to provide uniform grounds of divorce.
(With inputs from various agencies)