New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday will hear petitions, which seek the implementation of the Uniform Civil code (UCC) in the country.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar will hear all the petitions pertaining to Article 44, or UCC, today.

Article 44 of the constitution states that “state shall endeavour to provide for its citizens a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) throughout the territory of India".

One of the petitions, to be heard today, wants the government to draft an Indian Civil Code in spirit of Articles 14 and 44 of the Constitution within three months. The petitioner wants it to be published on the government website for extensive public debate, discussion and feedback.

This writ petition has been filed by Firoz Bakht Ahmed. Petitioner is the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University and country's first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

Another petition, which has been filed by Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeks direction to the government to constitute a judicial commission or a high level expert committee to draft the Uniform Civil Code within three months, while considering the best practices of all religions and sects, civil laws of developed countries and international conventions. He also sought direction to publish the draft on a government website for at least 60 days to allow extensive public debate and feedback.

The implementation of UCC is among the electoral promises of the ruling BJP. The party believes that it would lead to gender equality and also protect rights of all women.

“Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the directive principles of state policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a uniform civil code drawing upon the best traditions and harmonizing them with the modern times," BJP had said in its manifesto for 2014 general elections.

Uniform Civil Code is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution, according to which “the state shall endeavor to provide a uniform code in the country". It majorly refers to the personal laws in the State.

(Gyan Varma contributed to the story)

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