Law Commission is likely to call certain organizations and people for a personal hearing in the coming days
As the deadline to send views on the Uniform Civil Code ends in two days, India’s Law Commission has so far received nearly 46 lakh responses, officials said on Tuesday. The Commission is also likely to call certain organizations and people for a personal hearing in the coming days. Some of these invitation letters have already been sent, they said. Till Monday evening, the panel had received nearly 46 lakh responses.
On June 14, the Law Commission initiated a fresh consultation process on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by seeking views from stakeholders, including public and recognized religious organizations, on the politically sensitive issue. Earlier, the 21st Law Commission, the term of which ended in August 2018, examined the issue and solicited the views of all stakeholders on two occasions. Subsequently, a consultation paper on “Reforms of Family Law” was issued in August 2018.
“Since more than three years have lapsed from the date of issuance of the said consultation paper, bearing in mind the relevance and importance of the subject and also the various court orders on the subject, the 22nd Law Commission of India considered it expedient to deliberate afresh over the subject,” the panel had said in a ‘public notice’.
Appearing before a Parliamentary committee earlier this month, representatives of the law panel had defended the fresh consultation exercise, noting that the preceding commission had brought out its suggestions in 2018 and its term had also come to an end. That is why, they have begun a fresh initiative which is essentially “informational”. In its consultation paper issued on August 31, 2018, the previous Law Commission headed by Justice B S Chauhan (retd) said while the diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups or weaker sections of the society must not be “disprivileged” in the process.
It said the Commission dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code “which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”. The consultation paper said most countries are now moving towards recognition of difference, and the mere existence of difference does not imply discrimination but is indicative of a robust democracy.
In short, a Uniform Civil Code means having a common law for all citizens of the country that is not based on religion. Personal laws and laws related to inheritance, adoption, and succession are likely to be covered by a common code. Implementation of the common code has been part of the BJP’s election manifestos. BJP-ruled Uttarakhand State is set to come out with its own uniform civil code in the coming days.
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