The need for a uniform civil code

60-year-old Shah Bano went to court seeking maintenance from her husband who had divorced her. The court ruled in her favour - maintenance from her ex-husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code with an upper limit of Rs. 500 a month. This was not the first such judgment granting a divorced Muslim woman maintenance under Section 125 like all Indian women. But the orthodox lobby termed the verdict an attack on Islam.

When a court in India ruled in favour of 60-year-old Shah Bano, granting her maintenance (under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code with an upper limit of Rs. 500 a month) from her ex-husband who had divorced her, it was not the first such judgment granting a divorced Muslim woman maintenance under Section 125 like all Indian women. But the orthodox lobby termed the verdict an attack on Islam.

Received the following note via email from Justice Katju in New Delhi, posted below. He has also posted it to his blog.

Uniform Civil Code

The refusal to modernise Muslim law or enact a common civil code has contributed to keeping Muslims backward in India, and has thus done great harm to Muslims

By Justice Markandey Katju

The issue of a uniform civil code has recently been raised. I am fully in support of a uniform civil code.

Article 44 of the Indian Constitution states : “The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Continue reading

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“In a democracy the people are supreme, and can criticize all government agencies, which are only servants of the people”

Hamid Mir: Fighting on. AFP photo: Aamir Qureshi

Hamid Mir: Fighting on. AFP photo: Aamir Qureshi

Retired judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman Press Council of India, emailed the following statement about the attack on Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir:

May 23, 2014: I strongly condemn the attack in Karachi on Hamid Mir, the well known Pakistani journalist, who sustained six bullet injuries in the attack. This is a direct attack on media freedom, whether it was by the Taliban or ISI or anyone else.

Though I have differed with some of the views of Mr. Hamid Mir, I believe, like Voltaire, that he has the democratic right to express his views. Continue reading

Towards a South Asian Union

Samir Gupta

By Samir Gupta

Published in Aman ki Asha, Oct 8, 2013… Justice Katju may be controversial but his sincerity to peace and humanity is unmistakable, finds a young activist at a breakfast meeting

I was bit nervous when journalist Beena Sarwar invited me to accompany her to meet Justice Markandey Katju for breakfast in Delhi. Justice Katju had retired as a judge at the Supreme Court of India and was appointed Chairman of Press Council of India. He is known for his controversial statements, including his comment “Pakistan is a “fake” country “created artificially by the British” – that I had also ridiculed. He sounded like a retired person far removed from reality.

Justice Katju: A strong, secular, democratic vision. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Justice Katju: A strong, secular, democratic vision. Photo: Beena Sarwar

Beena, editor Aman ki Asha Jang Group Pakistan, insisted that he is a sincere friend of Pakistan and a champion of peace between India and Pakistan. She wanted to talk to him about his calls for re-unification that are causing unnecessary controversy and diverting from the real issues at hand. This was going to be interesting.

On the day, I met Beena outside his majestic bungalow near Parliament House in New Delhi. He was much taller than I expected, and very warm in welcoming us. As we sat for breakfast, he regaled us with stories of his days as a judge in Allahabad, meeting his counterparts from Pakistan in Delhi, his views of what ails India and his views on Pakistan.
Continue reading

Justice Katju appeals to the media to exercise restraint, avoid fanning communal hatred

Justice Markandey KatjuThe following Press Note from Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman, Press Council of India, dated 6.3.2013, sent for publication to this blog, is also relevant to other countries, including Pakistan:

Re: False implication of Muslims in cases of Bomb Blasts, etc.

I have today received the following letter of Mr. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities, New Delhi: Continue reading

All the Perfumes of Arabia

narendra-modi

In this important article sent for publication to this blog, Justice Katju argues that those  clamouring for Narendra Modi must realise that equal respect and treatment for all communities is the only way forward, and appeals to Indians to not make the same mistake which Germans made in 1933 by electing Hitler.  Continue reading

The Emperor has no Clothes… or is it the CJ?

Article sent for this blog by Justice Markandey Katju, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of India.

The Emperor has no Clothes

Now the Chief Justice had to be given oath by the President of Wonderland, but before that could be done the Chief Justice grabbed a golden crown from somewhere and crowned himself… then declared himself the Emperor of Wonderland, a post above the President or Prime Minister…

By Justice Markandey Katju

Once upon a time a little girl called Alice was dozing one summer afternoon on a meadow when she saw a strange sight. A white rabbit dressed in a coat and wearing a wristwatch was running while saying, ‘I am late’. Continue reading

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