Issues in uniform civil code
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister promised to enact a uniform civil code (UCC) for the state if re-elected.
Important aspects of the UCC
- It is thought that UCC would remove all inequalities in one stroke and create a gender-just society.
- It would establish a single law for the entire country applicable to all faith communities in personal concerns such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and so on.
- Article 44: The state shall make every effort to ensure that all people have access to a UCC across the country's territory.
Current status of uniform codes in India
- Indian laws follow a standard system in civil proceedings,evidenced by the Indian Contract Act 1872, the Civil Procedure Code, the Transfer of Property Act 1882, the Partnership Act 1932, and the Evidence Act, 1872, among others.
- States have made hundreds of revisions, and as a result, even under secular civil rules, there is variance in certain areas.
The Uniform Civil Code and Personal Laws
- Protection of Vulnerable Portions of Society: The UCC aspires to give protection to vulnerable sections of society, like as women and religious minorities, as intended by Ambedkar, while also boosting nationalistic fervour via unity.
- Regulations will be simplified due to the code: Increased accessibility to complicated laws governing marriage ceremonies, inheritance, succession, and adoptions.
- The same civil law will subsequently be applied to all people, regardless of their religious beliefs or affiliations.
- Respect for the Ideal of Secularism: The objective of secularism stated in the preamble, and a secular republic necessitates a common law for all citizens rather than differing standards based on religious beliefs.
- A UCC would eliminate all personal laws, which would be a victory for women's equality. Existing laws that discriminate against women will be repealed.
- There are practical difficulties due to religious and cultural diversity in India.
- The UCC is often perceived by the minorities as an encroachment on religious freedom.
- It is often regarded as interference of the state in personal matters of the minorities.
- Experts often argue that the time is not ripe for Indian society to embrace such UCC.
- In order to create confidence, the government and society will need to work hard, but more significantly, they will need to find common cause with social reformers rather than religious conservatives.
- “formal equality” cannot bring about a radical change; what society needs is “substantive equality”.
- The codification of all personal laws is urgently required so that biases and stereotypes in each and every one of them may be exposed and tested against the anvil of the Constitution's fundamental rights.