THE UNIFORM CIVIL CODE AND ITS VARIOUS ASPECTS |WHY INDIA NEED UCC?

INTRODUCTION

Uniform Civil Code is the ongoing point of debate within Indian mandate to replace personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules governing every citizen.

The origin of the UCC dates back to colonial India when the British government submitted its report in 1835 stressing the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidence, and contracts, specifically recommending that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside such codification. Increase in legislations dealing with personal issues in the far end of the British rule forced the government to form the B N Rau Committee to codify Hindu law in 1941.

The task of the Hindu Law Committee was to examine the question of the necessity of common Hindu laws. The committee, in accordance with scriptures, recommended a codified Hindu law, which would give equal rights to women. The 1937 Act was reviewed and the committee recommended a civil code of marriage and succession for Hindus.

In India the purpose of Uniform Civil code is to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen. A uniform civil code will mean a set of common personal laws for all citizens.

Currently, for example, there are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. Personal law covers property, marriage and divorce, inheritance and succession. A uniform civil code here refers to a single law, applicable to all citizens of India in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, custody, adoption and inheritance.

It is intended to replace the system of fragmented personal laws, which currently govern interpersonal relationships and related matters within different religious communities. The uniform civil code became a flashpoint in Indian politics in 1985 during the Shah Bano case.

The Supreme Court had held that Bano, a Muslim woman, should get alimony from her ex-spouse. In the context of that judgment the court had said a uniform. Personal laws were first framed during the British Raj, mainly for Hindu and Muslim citizens. The British feared opposition from community leaders and refrained from further interfering within this domestic.

The demand for a uniform civil code was first put forward by women activists in the beginning of the twentieth century, with the objective of women’s rights, equality and secularism. Till Independence in 1947, a few law reforms were passed to improve the condition of women, especially Hindu widows. In 1956, the Indian Parliament passed Hindu Code Bill amidst significant opposition.

Though a demand for a uniform civil code was made by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his supporters and women activists, they had to finally accept the compromise of it being added to the Directive Principles because of heavy opposition.

WHY INDIA NEEDS UNIFORM CIVIL CODE

Recently After the judgment of Shayra Bano Uniform civil code is again in publicity and it is one of the major agenda of NDA government and recently Law commission board asked a personal law board that why they are against it?

Uniform civil code stands for a common civil code which simply means simply means one law to all religion whether criminal and civil till today every religion has its own law related to marriage, divorce and inheritance and I am in full support in the favour of uniform civil code .And the concept of Uniform civil code is define in Article 44 of Indian Constitution, and comes under the Directive Principle of State policy and Article 37 states that Directive principle of state policy cannot be enforceable by law.

In Shah Bano Case Supreme Court held that government should implemented the uniform civil code and in Sarala Mudgal case Supreme Court has also advocated to the implementation of uniform civil code and one of the major problems behind the implementation of uniform civil code is that whether Directive principle of state policy cannot supersede over the fundamental right because Fundamental Right is justifiable right.

From Article 25 to 28 Everyone has right to practice his/her own religion, as propagated by their own religious laws. While Directive principle of state policy cannot be enforceable by court But Uniform civil code can be enforceable by legislature and according to Article 245 Parliament, they have right to make a law throughout the whole territory of India.

Directive principle of state policy can override over the fundamental right if it violates the other fundamental right of any individual for example if the any tradition of any religion violates the Article 14, Article 15, Article 21 than this tradition cannot be defend as the name of right to freedom of religion in conclusion I would likely to say that Uniform civil code is not against any religion.

It is about gender justice, equality which has already been mentioned in our constitution and in the state of Goa there is a one common law system irrespective to all religions which consists of 65 % Hindus and 25 % Christian so if it can be implemented in GOA than why not whole part of country.

SO,

  • It Promotes Real Secularism:

What we have right now in India is selective secularism which means that in some areas we are secular and in others we arena. A uniform civil code means that all citizens of India have to follow the same laws whether they are Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Sikhs. This sounds fair and secular to me. A uniform civil code does€™t mean it will limit the freedom of people to follow their religion, it just means that every person will be treated the same. That’s real secularism.

  • All Indians should be Treated Same:

Right now, we have personal laws based on particular religions, which means that while Muslims can marry multiple times in India, a Hindu or a Christian will be prosecuted for doing the same. This doesn’t seem like equality to me. All the laws related to marriage, inheritance, family, land etc. should be equal for all Indians. This is the only way to ensure that all Indians are treated same.

  • It will provide More Rights to the Women:

A uniform civil code will also help in improving the condition of women in India. Our society is extremely patriarchal and misogynistic and by allowing old religious rules to continue to govern the family life we are condemning all Indian women to subjugation and mistreatment. A uniform civil code will help in changing these age-old traditions that have no place in today’s society where we do understand that women should be treated fairly and given equal rights.

WORLDWIDE ASPECT

Israel, Japan, France and Russia are strong today because of their sense of oneness which we have yet to develop and propagate. Virtually all countries have uniform civil code or for that matter uniform law- civil or criminal. The European nations and US have a secular law that applies equally and uniformly to all citizens irrespective of their religion. The Islamic countries have a uniform law based on shariah which applies to all individuals irrespective of their religion.

STATUS OF UNIFORM CODES

Indian laws do follow a uniform code in most civil matters such as Indian Contract Act 1872, Civil Procedure Code, Transfer of Property Act 1882, Partnership Act 1932, Evidence Act, 1872 etc. States, however, have made hundreds of amendments and, therefore, in certain matters, there is diversity even under these secular civil laws. Recently, several states refused to be governed by the uniform Motor Vehicles Act, 2019.

WAY FORWARD

The government and society will have to work hard to build trust, but more importantly, make common cause with social reformers rather than religious conservatives. Rather than an omnibus approach, the government could bring separate aspects such as marriage, adoption, succession and maintenance into a UCC in stages.

Need of the hour is the codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them would come to light and can be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights of the Constitution.

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