Uniform Civil Code: Another nail in the coffin to satisfy the facade of party manifesto

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Introduction:

Uniform civil code places a collection of laws to manipulate affairs of all citizens regardless of religion and is probably the requirement of the hour and ensuring that their fundamental and constitutional rights are protected, in other terms it means one country one rule. The term secularism holds a critical value amongst the people of India. The concept of faith has always been used as a strategy by the authorities and forums along with their governing bodies.

Uniform civil code places a collection of laws to manipulate affairs of all citizens regardless of religion and is probably the requirement of the hour and ensuring that their fundamental and constitutional rights are protected, in other terms it means one country one rule.

What is a Uniform Civil Code?

A Uniform Civil Code is an implementation of code in such a manner that it would provide the country with one rule one law that would be applied to all religious communities, that would also cover the purview of personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance etc. This fact is further supported by article 44 of the constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil code for the voter throughout the country.

In India, we have uniform criminal code that is applicable to every citizen of India thus maintaining the secularism and integrity however, similar code does not exist especially with relevance to divorce and succession and that we are still governed by the private laws. These personal laws vary in their sources and applications hence to bring secularity among the people of India. Uniform civil code shall act as a boon to our country.

A far-fetched view of the parties to implement Uniform Civil Code:

Public uprising and the thought of implementation of Uniform Civil Code and there has been a pushing effect for the Uniform Civil Code to be implemented, seeking direction from the Law commission to draft UCC within 3 months and including uniform minimum age of marriage; grounds of divorce, maintenance and alimony; adoption and guardianship. The plea also said that country wide application of UCC will end multiple personal laws promoting tolerance among various groups across the nation, which completes a stepping stone for the start of the dream of government in power.  

Recent developments regarding the Uniform Civil Code:

It is a supposed assumption that after the banning of triple talaq and subduing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under article 370, the next big move under Modi government’s agenda could be Uniform Civil Code.

During the month of August 2018, the Law commission submitted a report “Reform of Family Law”. The report presents us with the diversity of Indian culture and how the weaker sections of the society must not be “dis-privileged” in the process. Which also hinted the fact that the commission dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nonetheless desirable. 

There is a firm belief that the way forward may not be uniform civil code but the codification of personal laws, suggestive of the fact that that amendments in personal laws so that the stigma and prejudices attached to them would come to light & could be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights. This is a long-established fact that the opposition had been stalling the Uniform Civil code bill.

There have been a number of petitions regarding the urgent need to the Uniform Civil Code in order to promote national integration as well as gender justice, equality & dignity of women. The petitions also aim that the Uniform Civil Code would replace the personal laws, based on the scriptures and customs of various religious communities, with a common set of rules governing every citizen of the country.

Conclusion:

The Uniform civil code may be suggested topic that has been misused by one political party to focus on its favourite communal enemy and appear progressive at the same time. Mostly a master political move, allowing them to take moral high stand since the Hindu Marriage act is progressive in gender equality while the Muslim marriage act is unequal. It also allows that party to incite fear in folks who fail to understand the act by making them believe that this law favours one community more than the other.

In the Constituent Assembly, there was division on the difficulty of putting Uniform Civil Code within the fundamental rights chapter. The matter was settled by a vote. By a 5:4 majority, the fundamental rights sub-committee headed by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel held that the furnishing was outside the scope of fundamental rights and thus the Uniform Civil Code was made smaller than freedom of faith.

Communities should be convinced that UCC is to bring reforms not suppress them and it will never intent to interfere with the rights, rituals, ceremonies or religious beliefs of a community. A piecemeal reform instead of a holistic reform starting with what minorities are most comfortable of doing away with.

-India Legal Bureau

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