Uniform Civil Code

Uniform Civil Code – To maintain diversity we need uniformity

Uniform Civil Code will eradicate all personal laws, with common set of law of governing the citizens, for the above purpose it is suggested but not yet implemented. It covers under Article 44 of the Indian Constitution i.e. directive principle of state policy. It will deal with laws relating to marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.

Historical Aspect

With the introduction of Islam means Mughal dynasty came into India, there is whole lot of change in the personal laws, as they have their different set of rule governing their family. After the Britishers came to India, they never interfere in personal laws, they only united secular laws.

After the drafting of constitution there was a huge debate regarding the uniformity in civil code as it would enhance the image of India and will eradicate all those customs based on caste and religion, but opposition said it will hamper the interest of the minorities.

Background

Past: When the Hindu Code Bill introduced in the parliament, Hindu opposed it as according to them marriage is sacrament, so divorce should not be allowed. As seeing this opposition Nehru divided the bill as Hindu Succession Act, Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Adoption and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act. For Muslims their personal law come into play they are mostly non-codified and based on their customary practices and only Shariat law come into the picture to govern their law. For Christians they basically governed under the Indian Marriage Act and Indian Divorce Act.

Present Conflict

There were many debates happen and are still going. Minority’s community think that it will hamper their religious belief and all the code will be in favour of the larger section of one religious group. Some of them also referred it to as a Common civil code.

Why it should be implemented?

  1. It will reduce the burden on the legal system – Presently, we practice different sect of law for religions and have lots of act regarding this. This creates chaos for the court to follow different ruling and laws in different case.
  2. Unity will be maintained – Presently there were several things arises which hamper our unity. Since this will reduce caste based or religion based voting.
  3. Laws will get better – All the personal laws if get uniformity than the implementation would get better and it should get implemented quite easily and amendment can be done so that to change the laws with changing time.
  4. Women upliftment – As, in different religious law the position of women are different, without comparing those, just wanted to suggest that, they would get better opportunity for each and every things like inheritance, divorce, adoption etc. For e.g. In Muslim law, a man can take talaq at any time but women cannot do so, she can divorce but the reasons must be given which is given in act. Adultery is not provided as a reason for divorce.
  5. Actual secularism will be implemented – See every religion will be outside the purview of law; law will be enacted in uniformity but this will not hamper the religious practice. Only the loopholes will be removed and anything which is in need of amendment will be implemented.

Objection

Some people refer it to as Common Civil Code, but it is not at all true it is only Uniform Civil Code.

In the infamous Shah Bano case
Where 74 year old women get deserted by her husband and file case under sec. 125 of the CrPC. This provides maintenance to women, children and old parents. She too got compensated and judge in their decision expressly mention the need of the Uniform Civil Code. This judgement later was highly criticised and were soon become the topic of debate. Seeing the need, congress agrees to pass a bill by All India Muslim Law Board. This bill was about Muslim women protection on rights of divorce act which actually make Muslim women not to ask for maintenance under sec.125 of CrPC.

Present Scenario
Article 44 of the Indian Constitution which supports Uniform Civil code is mentioned in the Directive Principles of State Policy, which can only be implemented by the legislature. Some people say it will hamper our fundamental right, but in very case it s not at all true as everyone can profess their own religion and in true sense it will promote the equality.

Trisha Singh
KIIT Law School, Bhubaneswar

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