The Delhi High Court on Monday clubbed together all petitions seeking framing of a uniform civil code (UCC), as provided for under Article 44 of the Constitution, to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality and dignity of women.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar decided to hear the four petitions, which are seeking UCC, on November 15.
The first plea seeking a uniform civil code was moved by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay in May this year and the high court had on May 31 issued notice to the Centre seeking its response within four weeks.
The central government is yet to file its response in the matter.
Subsequently, a similar plea was moved by another lawyer in August for directions to the Centre to constitute a judicial commission or a high-level expert committee to draft a UCC for securing gender justice, equality and dignity of women.
Thereafter, a third plea was moved by Firoz Bakht Ahmed, the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University and the grandnephew of first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, in October.
The fourth PIL for drafting a UCC was moved by Amber Zaidi, who claims in her plea to be a social activist and media personality.
Zaidi has contended that India "urgently needs a Uniform Civil Code or Indian Civil Code in the spirit of Article 44 read with Article 14" of the Constitution.
She has claimed that she has moved the plea with the "sole purpose to secure gender justice, gender equability and dignity of women".
The three PILs filed after that of Upadhyay are yet to be heard by the bench.
All the four petitions have sought directions to the Centre to constitute a judicial commission or a high-level expert committee to draft the UCC within three months, while considering the best practices of all religions and sects, civil laws of developed countries and international conventions.
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