No plan to set up a committee to implement Uniform Civil Code-The Hindu-29-07-2022
The government does not propose to set up a committee to implement a uniform civil code (UCC), Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
uniform civil code (UCC):
Uniform Civil Code seeks to provide one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc. It aims to ensure uniformity of laws between communities, but also uniformity of laws within communities ensuring equalities between the rights of men and women.
Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part 4) of the Indian Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India. But, as evident from Constituent Assembly debates, there was no consensus over the structure of UCC to be adopted. It is also seen as a threat to freedom of religion, especially among minority communities.
Need for Uniform Civil Code:
Law will be simplified and easy to understand for all religions. It will ensure equality among citizens in civil matters
It will separate religion from social relations and personal laws, thereby helping the cause of national integration and ensuring harmony in the society
All gender get equal rights. It would promote gender justice by removing the inbuilt discriminatory provisions of personal laws
A religion-neutral personal law would uphold freedom of choice, especially in cases of inter-caste and interreligious marriages
Challenges and issues related to UCC:
Freedom of religion will be lost so there will be a conflict between Article 25 vs UCC.
UCC might not be in consonance with the spirit of Indian secularism where multiple individual identities co-exist under the umbrella of the national identity.
Difficult to contain such a multitude of civil laws into a single, comprehensive UCC
Difficult to evolve a consensus to blend all personal laws into a common law
Provisions in the Constitution under Article 371 provide for special and differentiated treatment for certain states on the issues like inheritance, succession, marriage, and divorce as well as administration of justice, which will be a hindrance to the formulation of UCC.
UCC threatens a pluralistic society like India, where people have strong confidence in their respective religious beliefs or doctrines Minority concerns of a sense of insecurity, complete loss of identity & marginalization within Indian society, and imposition of a majoritarian outlook on minority religions if UCC comes into play.
The section of the nation against the implementation of UCC contends that in ideal times, in an ideal State, a UCC would be an ideal safeguard of citizens' rights. But India has moved much further from ideal than when the Constitution was written 50 years ago. There is a need for bringing awareness through discussion and deliberations among members of various communities to reach a common ground. Moreover, there is abundant scope for enacting more such laws that are applicable to all regardless of religion and personal laws.