A Public Interest Litigation seeking ‘uniform grounds of divorce’ for all citizens throughout India in spirit of the Constitution & international conventions has been filed in the Apex Court.
The petition filed by BJP leader & Lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay sought directions to the Centre to take steps to remove anomalies in divorce laws & make them uniform for all citizens without prejudice on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
The Court may declare that the discriminatory grounds of divorce are violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 & 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 & international conventions, the plea said.
The plea said that “Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs & Jains have to seek divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Muslim, Christian & Parsis have their own personal laws. Couple belonging to different religions have to seek divorce under the Special Marriage Act, 1956”.
If either partner is a foreign national then he has to seek divorce under the Foreign Marriage Act 1969. Hence, grounds of divorce are neither gender neutral nor religion neutral, the petition said.