Uniform Civil Code - ToI - 10/01/23

The SC refused to entertain a PIL challenging the decisions of the Uttarakhand and Gujarat governments to constitute committees for implementing Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in their respective states.
-The promulgation of the UCC emerges as a positive obligation and not duty of the State under Article 44 of the Constitution in the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP).
-Goa’s Portuguese Civil Code of 1867 is an example of a common family law prevalent in a State.
-Both the Uttarakhand and Gujarat governments have constituted committees to look into the issue of implementation of UCC.

->What did the SC say?
-The constitution of such committees by the states cannot be challenged for being ultra vires to the Constitution of India, as Article 162 empowers the State to constitute such committees.
-Article 162 of the Constitution states that the executive power of a state shall extend to the matters with respect to which the legislature of the State has power to make laws.
-Also, Entry 5 (Concurrent List) of the 7th schedule of the Constitution gives such power to the states to form a committee.

-Uniform Civil Code (UCC):
It provid>es for one law that applies to all religious communities in personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc.
In India, Article 44 in the Part IV (DPSP) of the Indian Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

->UCC v. Personal laws:
-Personal laws (mentioned in the Concurrent List) are laws that apply to a specific group of people based on their religion, caste, faith, belief, and are made after careful consideration of customs and religious texts.
-The adoption of a UCC is likely to nullify all such codified laws and usher in a law that applies to all citizens.

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