The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre and the Law Commission on a petition seeking to constitute a judicial commission or a high-level expert committee to draft a Uniform Civil Code, Bar and Bench reported.

A division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi issued the notice after hearing a plea filed by lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay. The petitioner said the code should be formed after considering the best practices of all religions, sects, civil laws of developed countries, and international conventions. It should then be published online for at least 60 days for extensive public debate and feedback, the petitioner said.

The court, as an alternative, can also direct the Law Commission to draft the code in spirit of Article 44 of the Constitution within three months, Upadhyay said in his petition.

In his petition, the BJP leader noted that the Directive Principles of State Policy in Constitution are “affirmative instructions from the ultimate sovereign to the State authorities”. These directives aim to secure social, economic and political justice for all citizens as well as the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, he added.

The lawyer said the objective to Article 44, which says the state shall endeavour to provide citizens a uniform civil code, is to promote fraternity, unity and national integration as it assumes there is no connection between religion and personal laws in a civilised society. Article 44 does not to encroach upon religious liberties guaranteed under Article 25, Upadhyay added.

The matter will be next heard on July 8.