Law Commission of India again seeks views from public, religious bodies on Uniform Civil Code

UCC the need of the hour for India as it battles harmony

UCC the need of the hour for India as it battles harmony
UCC the need of the hour for India as it battles harmony

Will UCC come before the Lok Sabha elections?

The Law Commission of India on Wednesday said it has decided to look at the need for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) afresh and seek the views of various stakeholders, including members of the public and religious organizations. Earlier, the 21st Law Commission, the term of which ended in August 2018, had examined the issue and solicited the views of all stakeholders on two occasions on the politically sensitive matter of a UCC.

Reforms of Family Law

Subsequently, a consultation paper on “Reforms of Family Law” was issued in 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 said in a statement.

Some states have already passed UCC

The 22nd Law Commission, which recently got a three-year extension, has accordingly begun examining issues related to a UCC on a reference sent by the Ministry of Law and Justice. “Accordingly, the 22nd Law Commission of India decided again to solicit views and ideas of the public at large and recognised religious organisations about the Uniform Civil Code,” the statement said. Those who are interested and willing can present their views within a period of 30 days from the date of notice to the Law Commission.

Meanwhile, previous year, BJP ruled Uttarakhand government formed an expert committee headed by retired Justice Ranjana Desai for drafting Uniform Civil Code. Desai on Wednesday said the Uniform Civil Code being drafted by a committee of experts for Uttarakhand will strengthen the social fabric, promote gender equality and help fight economic, social and religious inequalities.

UCC is for all

“We are trying to make such a draft which is liked by everyone, people of every religion,” Desai told reporters at an event organized in Delhi to seek suggestions on the proposed UCC from people of the hill state who live in the national capital. She said the committee will make recommendations for bringing a Uniform Civil Code for a range of issues including marriage, divorce succession, guardianship, custody and inheritance with a primary focus on safeguarding the interests of women, children and the differently-abled.

Women, children friendly

“We are focusing more on women, children and divyang people. We are working for gender equality. We feel that our draft, if accepted, will strengthen the secular fabric of our country. We want this and we feel that we will achieve this. We are going to propose to deal with issues like marriage, divorce, succession, guardianship, custody and inheritance, which touch the lives of common people. And I am quite sure that it will be acceptable to the people and state also.

Fight inequalities

“Once we have a Uniform Civil Code, we will be able to fight economic, social and religious inequalities better,” Desai said, adding that the committee will soon come up with the final draft of the UCC for Uttrakhand.

“I and the members of the committee have met a number of people from Uttarakhand including religious leaders. Representatives of various political parties and organizations have met us,” she said. During the public consultation, Desai said the committee saw an “overwhelming support” for the Uniform Civil Code.

“We will ensure that everybody will be happy… All religious groups. It will be acceptable to all, I promise you. Majority of the people are in favour.” Addressing the event, UCC committee member Shatrughan Singh, a retired IAS officer, said the formation of the uniform code will not interfere with the traditions of communities. “Traditional rituals will rather be protected,” he added.

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