The Supreme Court dismissed a PIL on Monday that contested the formation of a committee to assess the viability of implementing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Uttarakhand, giving a big boost to the BJP’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Panels.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha ruled that the argument put forth by one Anoop Baranwal lacks merit and that the creation of such committees cannot be contested as being outside the bounds of the law in court.
“Constitution of committees set up by Gujarat and Uttarakhand to frame UCC is challenge here. Article 162 indicates that executive power of states extends to what legislature permits it to…Constitution of the committee cannot be challenged as ultra vires,” the bench said.
The Bench added that since Article 162 of the Constitution gives the executive the authority to create committees, doing so is not improper.
“What is wrong with it? They have only constituted a committee under their executive powers that Article 162 gives…Look at entry 5 of concurrent list,” said CJI Chandrachud.
In October 2022, Harsh Sanghvi, the home minister for the Gujarat government, announced that the State is prepared to implement UCC.
In May 2022, the Uttarakhand government also established a 5-member panel, presided over by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, a retired Supreme Court justice, to review the pertinent personal laws in the State and implement UCC.
Additionally, there are petitions pending before the Supreme Court that ask for uniform divorce grounds and processes, as well as uniform adoption and guardianship processes, across the nation.
The Central Government has objected to the petition, claiming that it falls under the purview of the legislature.