What is Uniform Civil Code?
- What is Uniform Civil Code?
- Uniform civil code provisions in the Constitution of India
- Will it be practical for the states to implement it?
- Where is the Uniform Civil Code applicable?
- Hindu Personal Law Board
- Muslim Personal Law Board
- Why is the Uniform Civil Code being opposed?
- What will be the benefits of the Uniform Civil Code?
- Uniform law for every religion due to the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code
- Why has the Law Commission Board refused to implement it directly?
- Who can implement the Uniform Civil Code as per the Constitution?
- Shabano Begum Case
- Sarla Mudgal Case
- Petitions related to Uniform Civil Code
The demand for Uniform Civil Code is again gaining momentum in the country. In the Uniform Civil Code, it has been said to make uniform laws throughout the country and apply them equally to all. In this blog, we will learn what Uniform Civil Code is? Why is it being opposed? What have the courts said about this, and what is the provision in the Constitution.
About 73 years ago, on the same days of November, there was a discussion about the Uniform Civil Code in Parliament House of Delhi. But in the end, there was no result on this. Now 73 years have passed since this. Today, when there is a government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from tea shops to coffee houses in almost every city of the country, there is a discussion that the government will implement UCC. Because today the idea of one nation and one law is usually in the mind of every person.
There has been talking of implementing a Uniform Civil Code in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and some other states. The Supreme Court has also discussed the need to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the country many times. The Supreme Court has said that no effort has been made to implement the Uniform Civil Code in India. Whereas the framers of the Constitution had expressed hope in Article 44 under the Directive Principles that this would be done in the future.
What is Uniform Civil Code?
- Uniform Civil Code means uniform laws for every citizen residing in India. Irrespective of the caste or religion of the person, the law of the land shall apply equally. The Uniform Civil Code states that the same laws should apply to all religions in marriage, divorce, and property division. Uniform Civil Code means a fair law with nothing to do with any religion.
- In other words, equality of rights and mutual relations among the members of the country. At this time in our country, there is the freedom to follow different rules in the name of religion and tradition. For example, adoption of a child is prohibited in any community. In society, men are allowed to have more than one marriage. In some places, a rule is for married women not to share in the father's property.
Constitutional Provision of Uniform Civil Code:
- It is a matter of great sadness that Article 44 of our Constitution has become a dead letter. There is a provision in this that the government should make a uniform civil code for all citizens, but no concrete evidence has been found yet at the government level to make it.
- The debate on Uniform Civil Code has been going on in the country since independence. The framers of the Constitution of India had suggested that there should be a common law for all citizens. Uniform Civil Code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution and states that it is the responsibility of the State to enforce it.
- The States shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India. But till today, it has not been implemented in the whole country. After independence, the government led by Pandit Nehru brought the Hindu Code Bill, which aimed to eliminate the shackles on Hindu society's women.
- On the other hand, the matters of marriage, divorce, and succession of Muslims continued to be decided according to the Shariat, known as Muslim Law. Till now, this arrangement has been going on. Implementing the Uniform Civil Code in the Constitution has been described as the State's responsibility under Article 44. Still, it has not been implemented in the country to date. There is a considerable debate going on about this.
- Recently, the Delhi High Court, during the hearing of a case, said about the Uniform Civil Code that the Indian society is now becoming homogeneous. The barriers related to caste, religion, and community are getting erased in society. Referring to the Uniform Civil Code under Article 44, the court said that the central government should take action.
Would it be practical for states to implement it?
- Cultural diversity makes it difficult to form a uniform opinion on personal matters.
- Customs of people of the same religion in different parts of the country.
- Some people do not consider the Uniform Civil Code appropriate for their religious freedom.
- Therefore, no law can be implemented ignoring the large population.
- Even if the decision to implement the Uniform Civil Code is taken, it will not be easy to give it a holistic look.
- For this, the court must consider all aspects of private matters.
- It will not be easy to make laws on issues like marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc., without hurting the sentiments of any religion.
Where is the Uniform Civil Code applicable?
- In India, the State of Goa implemented the Uniform Civil Code only in 1961, which was in force during the Portuguese rule.
- India's arch enemies and neighbors, Pakistan, the US, Ireland, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Sudan, Egypt, etc., are secular countries and have a Uniform Civil Code Act.
- Presently, Chief Minister of BJP Government of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami has constituted a committee to prepare a draft for implementing the Uniform Civil Code.
- At present, the idea of bringing a Uniform Civil Code in Uttar Pradesh is also going on at a brisk pace. Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya has asked to implement it soon.
Hindu Personal Law Board:
- In 1954-55, the Hindu Code Bill was introduced by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, despite heavy opposition. After its opponent in the country, this bill was divided into four parts.
- The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru divided it into the Hindu Marriage Act, the Hindu Succession Act, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, and the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act.
- This law directly empowered women. Under these, women get rights to ancestral and husband's property.
- Apart from this, people of different castes have the right to marry each other, but a person cannot marry another while living in one marriage.
Muslim Personal Law Board:
- There is a Muslim Personal Law for the Muslims of the country. Under the earlier law, a married Muslim man could only divorce his wife by saying talaq three times.
- Due to its misuse, the government abolished it by making a law against it in July 2019. President Ram Nath Kovind also called it a historic achievement of gender equality.
- After divorce, if both want to remarry, the woman will have to marry another man and have a physical relationship with him. This is called Halala. She can remarry only after getting divorced from her first husband.
- In this law, women have not been given any right on any alimony or property from the husband after divorce, but there is a rule to provide Mehr with. A Muslim man can marry immediately after getting a divorce, while a woman must spend a certain number of days of iddat.
Why is the Uniform Civil Code being opposed?
- The Muslim Personal Law Board has been the most opposed to the Uniform Civil Code in India. They argue that its application means applying Hindu law to all religions.
- Those opposing the Uniform Civil Code believe it would impose Hindu law on all religions. Its purpose is to see and do justice to all with an equal eye.
- Many Muslim leaders and experts say that every religion has its own beliefs and beliefs. In such a situation, they cannot be ignored by taking the Uniform Civil Code Act.
- Articles 29 and 30 of our Constitution give the right to the minorities to preserve their culture and religious customs. They can run educational institutions according to their religion. They can follow their religion, customs, and beliefs. The Uniform Civil Code is being seen as a threat to these rights.
- Those opposing the Uniform Civil Code argue that its enactment would deprive people of their religious beliefs and remove their right to practice them.
- According to Shariat, Muslims will not be able to do anything, like Muslims will stop doing 3-4 marriages and have to go through court to get a divorce.
- They will not be able to divide their family's property according to the Shariat.
- After the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, only one common law would apply to Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in matters of marriage, divorce, dowry, and succession.
- Even in the case of Shah Bano Begum, the then central government had to bow down to the pressure of Muslim fundamentalists, and the Supreme Court's decision had to be reversed.
What will be the benefits of the Uniform Citizenship Code?
- There will be less pressure on the judiciary, and cases pending for years due to religion will be resolved quickly. And no one will be able to do politics based on religion quickly.
- The condition of women in the country will improve after the Uniform Civil Code is implemented.
- The personal laws of some religions limit the rights of women. Also, the same rules will apply in cases like adoption and women's right to a father's property.
- The custom of having three marriages among Muslims will be broken.
- When the Uniform Civil Code is implemented, there will be no. When the Uniform Civil Code comes into force, there will be no separate rules for any particular community. The Uniform Civil Code will eliminate religious discrimination concerning personal law.
- Another reason for the need for a uniform civil code is gender justice.
- Religious beliefs will not matter. It will not affect the citizens' food, worship, worship, and dress.
- Uniform Civil Code is a secular law that applies equally to people of all religions.
Uniform law for every religion with the implementation of civil code:
- With the performance of the Uniform Civil Code, there will be a common law for every religion. There are different personal laws for Muslims, Christians, and Parsis, while Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists deal with their affairs under the Hindu Civil Code. Injustice and atrocities have also been taking place under the guise of such a system.
- The most prominent example is triple talaq, which the current government abolished despite heavy opposition. Implementing the Uniform Civil Code will also reduce the burden of litigation on the judiciary. Because under the guise of religion, the law will tighten the noose on the atrocities committed in some instances.
Why has the Law Commission Board refused to implement it directly?
- Following the order of the Supreme Court, the government had asked the Law Commission to submit a report on the matter. On August 31 last year, the Law Commission suggested reforms in the Uniform Civil Code and Personal Law.
- Based on discussions with various people and a review of legal and social conditions, the Law Commission observed, "At present, it is not possible to bring in a Uniform Civil Code. Instead, the existing personal law should be reformed. A balance must be struck between fundamental rights and religious freedom. Parliament should consider codifying (in writing) personal laws relating to family matters. Before bringing equality to all communities, there must be an effort to bring equality in the rights of men and women within a community."
Who can implement the Uniform Civil Code according to the Constitution?
- According to Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, the State must enforce Uniform Civil Code. But social issues like marriage, divorce, inheritance and property rights, etc., come under the concurrent list, so the central and State Governments can make laws on it. Experts believe the central government should bring law and implement it as soon as possible.
Shahbano Begum Case
- The most significant issue in the Uniform Civil Code is related to the case of Shah Bano. In 1985, in the case of Shah Bano, the Supreme Court, in its historic decision, had talked about implementing the Uniform Civil Code in the country. But the then government, overturning the Supreme Court's decision, prioritized Shariat. In this case, the Supreme Court had also ordered to pay maintenance every month to the husband of the divorced woman and to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the country. But under pressure from Muslim fundamentalists, the then Rajiv Gandhi government overturned the Supreme Court's decision by enacting a law in Parliament and, in a way, worked to ground the debate on the Uniform Civil Code. Even after this, such cases kept coming to the courts from time to time, where the burden on the judiciary increased due to different religions, and the courts kept discussing implementing the Uniform Civil Code.
Sarla Mudgal Case
- How much more time will it take for the government to fulfill the wishes of the Constitution's framers expressed under Article 44? The traditional Hindu law governing succession and marriage was codified in 1955-56. There is no justification for indefinitely suspending the Uniform Civil Code in the country. Some practices violate human rights and dignity. To strengthen national unity and integrity, it is essential to throttle human rights in the name of religion.
Petitions related to Uniform Civil Code:
- Several petitions seeking Uniform Civil Code are pending in the Delhi High Court. These petitions are from many like Ashwini Upadhyay, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Amber Zaidi, Nighat Abbas, and Danish Iqbal. All these petitioners have requested the Supreme Court to transfer the matter to itself. Apart from this, petitions are pending in the Supreme Court on equal alimony for women of all religions, exact age of marriage, same law for adoption, and polygamy for Muslim men. All these subjects demand uniform civil law for the citizens.
- For the progress and harmony of society, it is essential to have a feeling of equality among all the parties existing in that society. Therefore, it is expected that the structure of the social change given the changing circumstances.
- There are different rules for people of other religions and sects in the country regarding marriage, adoption of children, property or inheritance, etc. Therefore, whatever is prohibited in one religion is openly permitted in other denominations. Because of this, there is no uniformity among countries. Since independence, there has been talking about making such a law for all religions, which is equally applicable to all. However, a consensus has not yet been reached. First, the Hindu Code Bill and the law on triple talaq at one go is considered a big step in this direction.