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SC seeks Centre reply on transfer of PILs seeking uniform marriage age

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SC seeks Centre reply on transfer of PILs seeking uniform marriage age

New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking transfer of two petitions from the Delhi High Court and Rajasthan High Court pertaining to the matter of uniform minimum age of marriage for men and women.

Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, representing the petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde that identical pleas are pending in the two high courts. Luthra argued that the top court should decide this matter, and the transfer of petitions will also avoid multiplicity of litigations and conflicting views. Upadhyay had moved the top court seeking transfer of the pleas in October last year.

After a brief hearing in the matter, the bench also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said “issue notice”.

Luthra contended that after transfer from High Courts these pleas can be tagged with other two pending PILs in the top court, which have argued for implementation of uniform grounds of divorce, maintenance, alimony, adoption and guardianship.

In August 2019, the Delhi High Court had issued notice to Centre and the law commission on Upadhyay’s plea seeking uniform marriage age for men and women. And, on February 5 last year, the Rajasthan High Court had asked the Centre and others for their reply on a similar PIL filed by one Abdul Mannan.

The petitioner has also urged the top court to issue directions to the Centre to take steps to remove the anomalies in the minimum age of marriage and make it gender-neutral, religion-neutral and uniform for all citizens.

“Petitioner is compelled to approach this Court as more PILs may be filed in other High Courts seeking ‘Uniform Minimum Age of Marriage for Men and Women’. Therefore, in order to avoid multiplicity of the litigations and conflicting views on interpretation of Articles 14, 15, 21 and judgments on gender justice and gender equality, the Court may be pleased to transfer these PILs and decide them collectively,” said the transfer plea filed under Article 139A of the Constitution.

–IANS

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