"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 & gender equality, guaranteed under articles 14-15, but also against the dignity of women, which is an important element of right life to life & liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution," the plea said.
"However even after 73 years of independence and 70 years of becoming sovereign socialist secular democratic republic; the Centre has failed to provide gender-neutral and religion-neutral uniform grounds of succession & inheritance in the spirit of the articles 14, 15, 21, 44 and international conventions," it said.
The PIL stated that existing personal laws being very "complex and cumbersome" are against the goals of preamble.
It said that Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains are governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and Christians, Parsis and Jews are governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
"Similarly, Muslims are governed by the Shariat Act, in which the share of a female heir is half of the male heirs. Moreover, existing personal laws relating to succession and inheritance are not only against the constitutional ethos of gender justice, gender equality & dignity of women but also brazenly offend Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution and international conventions," the plea said.
The PIL contended that succession and inheritance is the most crucial and pivotal issue and directly affects the right to life, liberty and dignity, guaranteed under Article 21.
"Discriminatory grounds of succession & inheritance not only reinforce patriarchal stereotypical notions but also contravene principles of gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution," it said.
The plea 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 citizens.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.