The Central government has sought the dismissal of a writ petition filed by BJP spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking drafting of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) within 3 months [Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India]..In an affidavit filed before the High Court, the Law Ministry said that a UCC can be introduced only after an in-depth study of various personal laws governing different communities and cannot be done in three months based on court orders.Under the Constitutional scheme, only the parliament can undertake such a task and a court cannot issue a writ to the legislature to enact a particular legislation, the Law Ministry said in an affidavit filed by it."It is settled position of law as has been held in a catena of judgments by the Supreme Court that under our constitutional scheme, Parliament exercises sovereign power to enact laws and no outside power or authority can issue a direction to enact a particular piece of legislation. A writ of Mandamus cannot be issued to the legislature to enact a particular legislation," it Centre submitted.Upadhyay had moved the High Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to constitute a judicial commission or a high level expert committee to draft a Uniform Civil Code within three months.He had contended that Article 44 of the Constitution under the Directive Principles of State Policy calls upon the government to draft a UCC.His plea said that the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14, the right against discrimination under Article 15, and the right to life and liberty guaranteed under Article 21 cannot be secured without implementing a Uniform Civil Code..The government in its reply, however, said that the purpose behind Article 44 is to strengthen the object of "secular democratic republic" as enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution. "This provision is provided to effect integration of India by bringing communities on the common platform on matters which are at present governed by diverse personal laws. Article 44 divests religion from social relations and personal law. Citizens belonging to different religious and denominations follow different property and matrimonial laws which is an affront to the nation's unity," the affidavit said.It had, therefore, asked the Law Commission to undertake such a study and make recommendations."In view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved which requires in-depth study of the provisions of various personal laws governing different communities, the Central government requested the Law Commission of India to undertake examination of various issues relating to uniform civil code and to make recommendations," the Centre said.Pursuant to that, the Law Commission had, after receiving several representations from various stakeholders, undertook a detailed research on the matter and had uploaded a consultation paper on August 31, 2018, titled 'Reform of Family Law' on its website for wider discussions.As and when the Report of Law Commission is received, the government would examine the same in consultation with the various stakeholders involved in the matter, the affidavit filed by the Centre said..The government further that the writ petition is not maintainable since it is the parliament which exercises sovereign power to enact laws and no outside power or authority can issue a direction to enact a particular piece of legislation. "It is a matter of policy for the elected representatives to decide and no direction in this regard can be issued by the Court," the affidavit stated..Various High Court across the country have urged the Central government to enact a UCC in the recent past.In November last year, the Allahabad High Court had called upon the Central government to implement the mandate of Article 44. It said that Uniform Civil Code is a necessity and cannot be considered ‘voluntary’ as was observed by Dr. BR Ambedkar 75 years back.Before that, the Delhi High Court had underscored the growing necessity to have in place a Uniform Civil Code for the country in view of the rapid transformation of Indian society with the gradual dissipation of traditional barriers of religion, community and caste.Single-judge Justice Prathiba M Singh observed that with the Indian society becoming more homogeneous, youth of India belonging to various communities, tribes, castes or religions should not be forced to grapple with issues arising due to conflicts in various personal laws, especially in relation to marriage and divorce.Hence, the hope expressed in Article 44 of the Constitution that the State shall secure for its citizens Uniform Civil Code should not remain a mere hope, Justice Singh had said..However, the Law Commission, in its 2018 consultation paper, had said that a UCC is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage.It had instead suggested amendments to existing family laws to tackle discrimination and inequality in personal laws, rather than do away with differences between them altogether. It had also suggested codification of certain aspects of personal laws to limit the ambiguity in interpretation and application of these personal laws.