Despite Prior SC Rulings, Delhi HC agrees to hear Petitions Pushing for Uniform Civil Code

Despite Prior SC Rulings, Delhi HC agrees to hear Petitions Pushing for Uniform Civil Code

The Delhi High Court has scheduled a hearing for December 1 regarding several petitions advocating for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). During the session, the court remarked that its hands might be tied if the Supreme Court has previously addressed the matter, indicating its limited jurisdiction in such cases.

During the Course of hearing, Acting Chief Justice Manmohan, leading the bench, noted that an earlier plea for laws that are "gender neutral" and "religion neutral" was dismissed by a Supreme Court bench in March.

Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is among the petitioners in the high court, was also involved in that previous case.

The court decided to postpone any further hearings on the petitions, pointing out the absence of representation for the petitioners during the proceedings. Additionally, Upadhyay had not yet submitted his requests officially in the petition before the Supreme Court.

"Supreme Court has already decided the matter virtually... If the matter is covered by Supreme Court then we can't do anything," the bench, also comprising Justice Mini Pushkarna said.

In April, a division bench led by the former Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma had indicated that Upadhyay's petition seemed, at first glance, to be not admissible and requested him to present the specific "prayers" he had made in front of the apex court.

The high court received information stating that in March, the Supreme Court declined to consider Upadhyay's petitions regarding "gender neutral" and "religion neutral" laws, stating that the issue belonged to the legislative domain. Additionally, it was noted that in 2015, Upadhyay had withdrawn a related plea concerning the Uniform Civil Code from that forum.

At that time, the high court commented on the distinction between a simple withdrawal and a withdrawal that allows the possibility of approaching the court again with the same grievance. The court then instructed the petitioner to submit the specific requests or "prayers" related to these matters within four weeks.

Apart from Upadhyay's petition, the high court is also handling four other petitions that assert the urgent requirement for a Uniform Civil Code in India. These petitions advocate for the implementation of such a code in the country.

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