UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
AUTHORED BY - INDIRA PRIYADARSHINI
The uniform civil code is to formulate personal laws of different laws. this uniform civil code is for the equal rights for all the religious which is apply on all citizen equally in personal laws and have various communities which is governed through all the religious sacred text. As we know personal laws refers to legal rules and regulations and its matters to the family law and the matrimonial law.
Key words: personal laws, family laws, divorce law, article 14, article 44 and matrimonial law.
India is a diverse country with cultural traditions and the personal law is basically based on religious sacred text and customs and they are applicable to the religious communities. For example, Hindu is governed by the Hindu marriage act, the adoption act and succession act while in the other way Muslim governed by the personal laws which known as shariat law.
The personal laws communities have been the odds with one another, and the gender equality and social justice is anointed in the Indian constitution. If we talk about the Hindu succession act which was amendment on the year 2005. This amendment gives the equal right to all the daughters in the ancestral property. But in the Muslim law there is no law for daughters in the ancestral property and if we look after on Hindu law there are so many rights for women like women have the right to take divorce but in the certain grounds. And on the other hand, Muslim women has no rights to take divorce unless and until with the consent of their husband’s by proving such act like cruelty, adultery, or desertion.
The uniform civil code was first initiated by the constituent assembly on 1950s. but later due to various religious communities these issues revived in the year of 1980s in the shah Bano v. union of India, where a Muslim woman is entitled to maintenance from her ex-husband which is comes under the secular law because somehow the personal law did not provide for it. And the ruling protests from Muslim groups who argued that it’s violated their religious freedom.
The uniform civil code (UCC) is a proposal to replace the personal laws and the communities in India is set with the common laws which is governing to matters like adoptions, marriage, divorce etc. uniform civil code (UCC) is necessary to promote social justice to the people and it is necessary for the change to the gender equality and now this topic is really becoming equivocal issues in India.
There are two objections:
A further argument has been advanced that the enactment of a civil code would byrannical to minorities. When the Shariat Act was passed or when certain laws were passed in the central Legislature in the old regime, the Khojas and Cutchi Memos were highly dissatisfied. They then followed certain Hindu customs, for generations since they became converts, they had done so. They did not want to conform to the Shariat and yet by a legislation of the central legislature certain Muslim members who felt that.
The issue of Uniform Civil Code seemed to have gone into the background, for the first time the Law Commission of India constituted in later part of 2016 issued a questionary consisting of 16 questions to the general Public on the desirability of code.
pros of uniform civil code:
This is one of the debatable arguments in the favour of UCC. This would terminate the sexism which women is facing under personal laws like in Muslim personal law which did not give the equal rights as men have in the matter of divorce, property laws and inheritance.
The UCC is a now essential component of India’s secularism it would ensure state is not favouring any kind of religion or community and the constitution of India assurance freedom of religion to all citizens but somehow the state should also promote a uniform civil court for all the citizens.
This is also one of the debatable arguments and another topic in the favour of UCC. This promotes the social justice by terminating the conflicts which arises from the disparate personal laws. for example, under the Hindu succession act daughter has only half the share of sons. Comparably the Christian communities in India does not have a uniform personal law and it’s governed by various law depends on their religious group leading to confusion and inequality.
This means promotes national integration creating a common set of laws which is apply to all the citizens. This national integration aid to make a sense of unity and diverse identity among cultural communities.
Cons of uniform civil code:
This is one of the main criticisms of uniform civil code is that maybe it lead to opposition from religious group it might be seen like an attack on the personal laws and however it could lead into a conflict.
The UCC lead to confusion and ambiguity from the different religious. Sometimes it leads a difficulty when come up with single set of laws that would be applicable to all religious cultural and however this could lead to conflicts and disputes.
Implementing a UCC would be challenging as it would changes the legal systems. This could be complex and lengthy process and it may face opposition from various stakeholders.
This implementation of UCC is undermine the federal structure of personal law of India which have been traditionally under the jurisdiction of the state.
The UCC could see as imposing inflexible in legal systems on citizens with their little room for personal choices. May this could be seen as a violation of individual rights of their freedom.
Cons of Uniform Civil Code
Practical difficulties due to diversity in India
It is practically tough to come up with a common and uniform set of rules for personal issues like marriage due to tremendous cultural diversity India across the religions, sects, castes, states etc.
Perception of UCC as encroachment on religious freedom
Many communities, particularly minority communities perceive Uniform Civil Code as an encroachment on their rights to religious freedom. They fear that a common code will neglect their traditions and impose rules which will be mainly dictated and influenced by the majority religious communities.
Interference of state in personal matters
The constitution provides for the right to freedom of religion of one’s choice. With codification of uniform rules and its compulsion, the scope of the freedom of religion will be reduced.
Sensitive and tough task
Such a code, in its true spirit, must be brought about by borrowing freely from different personal laws, making gradual changes in each, issuing judicial pronouncements assuring gender equality, and adopting expansive interpretations on marriage, maintenance, adoption, and succession by acknowledging the benefits that one community secures from the others. This task will be very demanding time and human resource wise. The government should be sensitive and unbiased at each step while dealing with the majority and minority communities. Otherwise, it might turn out to be more disastrous in a form of communal violence.
Time is not yet suitable for this reform.
Considering a major opposition from Muslim community in India over this issue overlapping with controversies over beef, carbonisation of school and college curriculum, love jihad, and the silence emanating from the top leadership on these controversies, there needs to be given sufficient time for instilling confidence in the community. Otherwise, these efforts towards common will be counterproductive leaving minority class particularly Muslims more insecure and vulnerable to get attracted towards fundamentalist and extremist ideologies.
Uniform Civil Code in Goa
In 1897 the Portuguese was the to implement the uniform civil code in Goa, but after the liberalisation this law was retained and later known as Special Marriage Act. Goa is the first state to implement the Uniform civil code in India. This provides a civil marriage of two persons of opposite sex, irrespective of their religion. This is still followed in Goa as it punishes polygamy, that is one cannot have more than one wife. This act also states that if there is divorce between the husband and wife then the distribution of the property will be equal between them.
The main aim of UCC is to bring gender equality and put a discriminatory practice in our society. There should be a uniform in the laws either person is free to do their custom practices. So, lawmakers should make sure that women get equal rights in matter of inheritance, adoption, marriage, and divorce. These measures will strength the impact and reach to the conclusion of Uniform Civil Code.