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Supreme Court issues notice on plea seeking gender neutral, religion neutral grounds for succession and inheritance

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today issued notice to the central government on a  plea seeking removal of anomalies on the ground of succession and inheritance and make them gender-neutral, religion-neutral, and uniform for all citizens in the spirit of the Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 and international conventions.

The bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian while issuing notice to the respondents said that it had earlier also issued notice on a similar petition. The bench also allowed the intervention application.

The petition has been filed by Advocate socio-political activist, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay alleging that the Centre has failed to provide even gender-neutral and religion-neutral uniform grounds of succession and  inheritance for all citizens in the spirit of Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 International Conventions. 

The petition stated that “uniformity in succession and inheritance is not only necessary to secure gender justice, gender equality and the dignity of women but also essential to promote fraternity, unity and national integration but the Centre has not taken any steps in this regard till date. Therefore, a blatant form of discrimination that is the prejudice in the succession and inheritance based on gender and religion is continuing.”

Upadhyay through this petition further submited that “the injury caused to the citizens is extremely large because gender-biased and religion biased personal laws relating to succession and inheritance are not only against the constitutional ethos of gender justice and gender equality, guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 but also against the dignity of women, which is an important element of right to life to life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

The petition has also sought to declare that the discriminatory grounds of succession and inheritance are violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution and frame gender-neutral, religion-neutral, uniform guidelines of succession and inheritance for all Indian citizens, and alternatively, direct the Law Commission of India to examine the laws relating to succession and inheritance of the developed countries and International Conventions in this regard and prepare a report on uniform grounds of succession and inheritance for all citizens in the spirit of Articles 14, 15, 21, 44 of the Constitution within 3 months. ILNS/SNG

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