'Can't direct Parliament to enact law': Supreme Court refuses to hear plea seeking Uniform Code for Trusts and Charitable Institutions

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The Supreme Court recently refused to hear a petition seeking direction to the Centre/Law Commission of India to draft a ‘Uniform Code for Trust-Trustees and Charities-Charitable Institutions’ in spirit of Articles 14 &15 of the Constitution and publish the draft on website for larger public debate and feedback. The bench opined that the courts cannot direct the Parliament to enact a law.

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea while granting permission to pursue other remedies available under the law.

The plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay challenged the constitutional validity of the various provisions of the Waqf Act 1995 inter alia on the ground that Parliament has no power to make special law in favor of a religious community giving special status discriminating similarly situated Hindu and other non-Islamic religious communities and those provisions have been enacted in violation of Articles 14,15,25,27 and 300-A of the Constitution of India.

The plea had also sought direction that dispute relating to religious properties between communities can be decided only by the Civil Court under Section 9 of the Civil Procedure Code, and not by any Quasi-Judicial Tribunal.

It has been stated that "the interest of Hindus Jains Buddhists Sikhs and other Non-Islamic religious communities is involved in the matter and public in general is suffering due to conferment of unbridled powers to Waqf Boards and granting special status to Waqf properties and thus others are being discriminated before law and denied equal protection of law."

In addition to this, the plea had further sought direction that the State can enact only Uniform Law for Trust Trustees, Charities-Charitable Institutions and Religious Endowments-Institutions, and can’t make separate law for Waqf and Waqf properties.

Cause Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay Vs. Union of India & Ors.