Uniform Civil Code: What is delaying its execution?

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22 thoughts on “Uniform Civil Code: What is delaying its execution?”

  1. Debapriya Biswas

    UCC is a very progressive move that India needs, especially with how religion is used (or rather, misuse) to misguide people and facilitate violence amongst different religious communities. Implementation of UCC would be a great step in actually implementing the secular part India’s Constitution guarantees.
    However, this whole thing is rather easier said than done. While the whole ideology of UCC seems nice and rather ideal on paper, it’s implementation brings on a lot of doubts as people wonder argue that the Code would rob India of its religious diversity and the citizens of their right to practice religion. Meanwhile, many protest against it, stating that the Code would curb a lot many of the religious practices, which in itself would be a discrimination and oppression of the minority religious communities.
    Due to these arguments and many protests against the UCC, the Code has been delayed in its action and even is predicted to be delayed for a good decade or so. However, in my own personal opinion, I support the ideology and implementation of UCC and believe that it would help bring in the justice to many who suffer in the name of religion. Especially the females.
    In the end, religion is something that comes from the faith of a community and while a society is often made surrounding a religion, if it’s governance is also strictly based on religion, then a lot of prejudice and rigidity would grow in the said State. It is better to separate religion from the State as well as the law, as much as possible. Human are humans, regardless of their religion and the law should see them as such rather than a Hindu, Muslim or of any other religious identity

  2. India is a secular state with different religions and cultures. Uniform Civil Code, within Indian mandate, considers replacement of personal laws based on scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules governing every citizen. But, Articles 25 to 28 in the Constitution of India provide the right to freedom of religion. The idea of making a single law to govern every individual’s personal law is theoretical possible but practical implication would become much difficult. Goa is the only state in India with UCC, but it also doesn’t promote equality. It has many flaws.

  3. In India, laws don’t supersede the faith or customs of persons but in fact, are derived out of them. The idea of UCC has been propagated as an assault against the faith, beliefs and morals that are vested in the persons. However, UCC should be a combination of all the personal laws in India, blending the possibility of one Bill recognising and marginalising essence of all the customs and rituals practised by all the persons in the country. The Indian Constitution which guarantees freedom of practice and propagation of religion under Article 25 and also indicates for the state to secure all the citizens in a Uniform civil code throughout the territory under Article 44, can never take away and force the people to adhere to rules conflicting their religious practices.

  4. Harshika Nair

    The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

    The issue has been at the center of political narrative and debate for over a century and a priority agenda for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been pushing for the legislation in Parliament. The saffron party was the first to promise the implementation of UCC if it comes to power and the issue was part of its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto. The objective of Article 44 of the Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution was to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise diverse cultural groups across the country. Dr. B R Ambedkar, while formulating the Constitution had said that a UCC is desirable but for the moment it should remain voluntary, and thus the Article 35 of the draft Constitution was added as a part of the Directive Principles of the State Policy in part IV of the Constitution of India as Article 44. It was incorporated in the Constitution as an aspect that would be fulfilled when the nation would be ready to accept it and the social acceptance to the UCC could be made.

    Ambedkar in his speech in the Constituent Assembly had said, “No one need be apprehensive that if the State has the power, the State will immediately proceed to execute…that power in a manner may be found to be objectionable by the Muslims or by the Christians or by any other community. I think it would be a mad government if it did so.”

  5. The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the State shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

    One of the major hindrances in an effective application or the execution of the same is the notion of the Code being majority dominant, making the religious and cultural identity of the minorities next to absent. The majoritarian views of the Parties are believed to taint the UCC as well, leading to a more marginalised and repressed standing of these communities in India.

  6. Harsh Devpura

    Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy states that it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that citizens throughout the country have access to a uniform civil code. The major goal of enacting a Uniform Civil Code in India is to provide a legal framework that governs the personal affairs of all citizens, regardless of faith. The current issue stems from the fact that there are variations and inconsistencies in personal laws. There is no consistency. There have also been cases where personal laws have rejected or failed to grant women their rights. The Uniform Civil Code can be enacted to address these flaws. For its better execution, the universal civil code should be implemented as a new legislation rather than a combination of personal laws, because combining personal laws opens the door to arbitrariness. People must understand that the concepts of laws and religion are distinct because the Indian constitution allows people to practise their religion, which will continue even after the uniform civil code is implemented, as the uniform civil code will not take away anyone’s right to practise or profess their religion. It is past time for Indians to stop regarding law and religion as two separate concepts. Having a universal civil code will focus on equal empowerment of individuals from all areas of society, which will be good for the country and will not undermine the constitution’s secular nature.

  7. According to me there are many exceptions which need to be dealt,Such as
    An exception was added in 1968 in all these Acts, pronouncing that “nothing herein contained shall apply to the Renoncants in the Union Territory of Pondicherry.”
    A second exception, none of these Acts applies in Goa, Daman and Diu.
    A third exception, relating to the north-eastern states of Nagaland and Mizoram, emanates from Articles 371A and 371G of the Constitution, decreeing that no parliamentary legislation will replace the customary law and religion-based system for its administration.
    Communal Politics: The demand for a uniform civil code has been framed in the context of communal politics. A large section of society sees it as majoritarianism under the garb of social reform.
    Constitutional Hurdle: Article 25 of Indian constitution, that seeks to preserve the freedom to practise and propagate any religion gets into conflict with the concepts of equality enshrined under Article 14 of indian Constitution.

  8. Uniform Civil Code is a proposal in India to formulate and implement personal laws under Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, by 2019 Lok Sabha Election Manifesto. Implementing UCC would mean that all the personal religious laws shall be kept at bay and a uniform personal law governing areas of marriage, divorce, inheritance etc.
    Its execution is been delayed as opposing parties like the Nagaland Bar Association, Muslim Community and some Political Parties has pointed out that it is particularly unconstitutional as it’s a move against secularism and infringement of personal religious laws as it takes away the cultural and religious rights of other minorities as well, which was promised to them by the founding fathers of the Constitution. The Naga committee said that their personal life is quite distinct from rest of the world, and as the Muslim community, it will lead to social unrest and the spirit of the Constitution.

  9. Bhaskar Joshi

    While drafting our constitution, leaders such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. B.R Ambedkar emphasized the importance of a uniform civil code and included UCC in the Directive Principles of State. It was added as Article 44 of the Indian constitution which states that the State should take steps to implement a uniform civil code that would apply to every citizen of India. However, Article 44 remains as the only Directive Principle of State Policy that is not enforceable in any court.

    The idea of a uniform civil code is intriguing but faces many challenges.
    One of the biggest issues is that if not implemented properly it can be in conflict with the people‘s right to practice their religion. India is a secular state and Article 25 of our constitution confers the fundamental right to practice religious freedom. The task of drafting a UCC that can satisfy every religious community is challenging. There is also a false perception amongst the minorities regarding UCC who presume UCC as a way to enforce on then major religions practices. There is also the question of violation of the fundamental right incurred by the constitution in Article 25 if a uniform code is ever established.

    In the end, it also boils down to the people’s unawareness regarding UCC. although it was never the objective of UCC to interfere with people’s religion it is widely considered as the main goal of the Law. This paired with the political complexities and the sensitivity of the task is only resulting in further delay in the execution of any form of uniform civil code. Therefore, it is necessary that such a law transcends the boundaries of religion only then the difference between different religious groups can be eliminated.

  10. Kaushiki Jindal

    The 21st Law Commission intended to propose specific modifications to a number of personal law statutes, abandoning the UCC concept, which gained steam during the public discussion over quick triple talaq. Justice Chauhan deliberated that UCC is not possible. Religion-wise amendments in family laws were tried to be recommended. It was seen as a haphazard way to suggest what changes are required in Hindu law, Muslim law, Christian law, Parsi law, etc. The problems of each religion should be targeted and dealt with accordingly.
    UCC is also impossible because to the Constitution’s protection of the customs that exist in distant parts of India. In one North East town, the younger daughter inherits the entire estate. Then the daughter-in-law arrives and settles in, becoming not just the girl’s husband but also the girl’s mother’s husband. This is known as Nokuram, and the son-in-law takes over the role of the father-in-law for all purposes, not only property. Since this practice is protected under the Constitution, the UCC cannot hold it be to a violation.
    The head of the Law Panel stated that the Constitution’s exemptions must be respected, and that UCC might jeopardise the Constitution’s substance. Thus the Uniform Civil Code is still half baked and cannot be executed for at least the next 10 years.

  11. Uniform Civil Code seeks to replace personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules governing every citizen. Uniform Civil Code will provide women with the right to equality and justice in courts of law- irrespective of their religion in matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, custody of children, inheritance, adoption, etc. In the name of uniformity, the minorities fears that the culture of the majority is being imposed over them. Given cultural diversity in India, bringing uniformity among all such people will be a huge challenge. Patriarchal mindset of Indian society poses a big challenge in implementation of UCC. This can be reflected by the fact that, the Hindu code bill has been already in place from mid- 1950s yet the quantum of land actually inherited by Hindu women is only a fraction of the land they are entitled.

  12. Vartika Prasad

    Uniform civil code means in layman’s language is one country one law. The debate for ucc started from constitutional assembly but it is not implemented yet. Though Hindu laws mostly uniformed up till now but other religion laws like muslim , Christians personal laws are almost unchanged or we can say changes are coming very gradually. There are constitutional and several social political challenges in delaying of ucc. Freedom of religion gets into conflict with right to equality like article 25 lays down an individual’s fundamental right to religion conflict with article 14 which talks about right to equality. In 2018, a report by the Law Commission of India stated that the Uniform Civil Code is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage” in the country. The Commission said secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country. There are also social political challenges like in the name of uniformity, the minorities fears that the culture of the majority is being imposed over them.Patriarchal mindset of Indian society poses a big challenge in implementation of UCC. This can be reflected by the fact that, the Hindu code bill has been already in place from mid-1950s, yet the quantum of land actually inherited by Hindu women is only a fraction of the land they are entitled. In conclusion we can say, the UCC must carve a balance between the protection of fundamental rights and religious dogmas of individuals. It should be a code, which is just and proper according to a man of ordinary prudence, without any bias with regards to religious and political considerations.

  13. Satya Parakram

    VARIED CULTURES – As we know that custom plays a vital role indeed even law prominently specifies that custom might supersede law , so diversified population belonging to different cultural group profess various kind of custom which are completely different to one another
    DIFFERENT PERSONAL RULES : While the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 stipulates 18 and 21 years as minimum age for marriage for boys and girls respectively whereas under the Islamic law, marriage is permitted after puberty.
    CHANGES IN OTHER LEGISLATIONS TOO: As currently we have different law of inheritance, law of divorce and adoption for different communities .
    Especially in current scenario where already the clash for dominance of religion prevailing in every sphere and where the country is juggling between encountering many adverse threat from the neighbouring countries which is paying with religious loopholes as well as the economic crisis , in such case an upheaval of an entire general legislation or formation of a new code based on Equality to ALL might get a halt for more years by the law commission report .
    Moreover ,The Law Commission of India has stated that a uniform civil code is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage and has stressed upon removing discrimination against women within communities rather than looking for equality between communities in terms of family law.

  14. In any country there are some issues that are important for politicians. some political parties have advantages and some political parties get disadvantages from that issues. In India most used issue for political campaigning is religion. One of the part of religion is implementation of Uniform Civil Code. This topic is politicized by politicians that is the reason for delay of implementation of UCC. Citizens have wrong understanding of UCC. Many people still think it will affect their religious affairs. Uniform Civil code will help Indian women to get equal rights and it will help to bring equality. There are two ways to bring equality: 1. To introduce legislation for all religions and which will apply to whole country. 2. amend personal laws of all religions and bring equal and progressive laws. The 2nd way is much more efficient and create less havoc in country. Government and social activist should help citizens to understand Uniform Civil Code and why there is need of Uniform Civil Code. So it will clear all misconceptions of citizens.

  15. Yugant Vitthal Rane

    Drafting of law and implementation of law in any country is also depend politics and current situation. Some subjects in country are only used for politics. Religion is subject which is mostly use to divide society for political gains. Uniform Civil Code is subject which is in discussion since independence but we still not got any solution. Many citizens have misconceptions regarding Uniform Civil Code and these misconceptions are increased by politicians. Uniform civil code is needed to bring gender equality. Personal laws are regressive and discriminates against women. If government brings legislation for UCC there should be healthy debate which will helpful for implementation of law. Social activist, civil society should work to help people why UCC is needed.

  16. Uniform Civil Code is the proposal to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set governing every citizen. These laws are distinguished form public law and conver marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance. Article 44 of the directive principles in India set its implementation on duty of the state. Goa has a common family law, thus being the only India State to have a Uniform Civil Code. It is the Indian culture which delays centralisation of this code. As there are a lot different cultures with different laws and beliefs relating to these topics.

  17. Sayantika Halder

    A Uniform Civil Code is required.
    Different personal laws encourage communalism, which leads to discrimination on two levels: first, between individuals of different religions; and second, between people of different races.
    Second, there is a difference between the sexes.
    In areas pertaining to marriage, divorce, maintenance, child custody, inheritance rights, adoption, and other matters, the Uniform Civil Code will provide women with the right to equality and fairness in courts of law, regardless of their religion.
    In the case of Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum, also known as the Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court for the first time directed Parliament to establish a UCC in 1985.
    Shah Bano filed a support claim against her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after he gave her triple talaq.
    The Shah Bano case judgement was overturned by the government through the Muslim Women (Right to Protection on Divorce) Act, 1986, which limited a Muslim woman’s right to maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
    The practise of Triple Talaq (talaq-e-bidat) was found unlawful by the Supreme Court in the Shayara Bano case (2017).
    Constitutional problems at UCC have posed a number of challenges.

    The right to religious freedom clashes with the right to equality.
    Article 25 establishes a person’s fundamental right to religion.
    Article 26(b) protects each religious denomination’s or section’s ability to “conduct its own business in religious matters.”
    The right to preserve distinctive culture is defined in Article 29.
    These rights are incompatible with the equality before the law guaranteed by articles 14 and 15.
    Furthermore, under Article 25, an individual’s religious freedom is subject to “public order, health, and morals.”
    According to a report published by India’s Law Commission in 2018, the Uniform Civil Code is “not necessary nor desirable at this point” in the country. According to the Commission, secularism cannot be incompatible with the country’s diversity.
    Challenges in social and political life
    Minorities fear that the majority’s culture will be pushed on them in the name of uniformity.
    Given India’s immense cultural diversity, getting all of these people together will be a huge challenge.
    The patriarchal attitude of Indian society is a significant barrier to UCC implementation.
    This may be seen in the fact that, despite the fact that the Hindu code bill has been in existence since the mid-1950s, Hindu women only inherit a fraction of the land to which they are entitled.
    Advantages of the Uniform Civil Code
    Integration of the Nation
    A single code is essential for the protection of India’s most vulnerable citizens (women and religious minorities), as well as the development of national unity and solidarity.
    Laws should be simplified There are several personal laws, such as the Hindu Code Bill, Shariat law, and others.
    The existence of so many laws leads to confusion, complexity, and inconsistency in the adjudication of personal matters, which can result in delayed or no justice.
    This overlapping of laws will be eliminated by the UCC.
    India’s legal system will be simplified as a result of the UCC, which will result in fewer lawsuits stemming from different personal laws.
    Creating a secular society: UCC will separate law from religion, which is a very desirable goal in a secular and socialist society.
    Furthermore, it complies with Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy, which is a constitutional duty.
    Gender justice: Women’s rights are frequently restricted under patriarchal rhetoric by religious legislation.
    UCC will free women from patriarchal oppression and grant them the right to equality and liberty that they deserve.
    UCC would lead to the defeat of communal and divisionist movements in the long run.
    Next Steps
    The transition from a heterogeneous civil code to a uniform civil code must be gradual and cannot occur overnight. As a result, the government will have to take a “piecemeal” strategy.
    The government could gradually integrate different features like marriage, adoption, succession, and maintenance into a single civil code.
    Governments should follow Goa’s example of having a single civil code in place since 1867, when the state was under Portuguese colonial administration.
    Furthermore, although the United States Constitution endorses the cause of a uniform civil code in Article 44, it should not be misinterpreted as a “common law.”
    The term “uniform” refers to the fact that all communities must be governed by the same gender and human equity principles.
    Each personal law will be modernised and humanised as a result.
    It would imply different personal rules founded on ideals of equality, liberty, and fairness, rather than a common law.
    The government must take initiatives to raise public awareness of the value of having a UCC, particularly among minorities.
    The UCC must strike a balance between individual religious dogmas and the safeguarding of fundamental rights. It should be a code that is right and proper in the eyes of an ordinary prudent man, without regard for religious or political factors.

  18. India has a Uniform Criminal Law but not with subject to the Civil Law, every religion has their Personal Law with respect to marriage, inheritance, divorce and maintenance which have varied implications from one religion. Directive Principles of State Policy are not enforceable in the court. India is a secular state where a state has no religion and all the religion are given due respect as stated in the Preamble of India. The meaning of secularism is not mentioned in the Indian Constitution which would lead to multiple interpretation from one person to person.
    In 2018, the Law Commission of India stated that the Uniform Civil Code is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage in the country. The Commission said secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country.
    Social-political challenges:

    In the name of uniformity, the minorities fears that the culture of the majority is being imposed over them.

    There is vast cultural diversity in India, bringing uniformity among all such people will be a huge challenge.Patriarchal mindset of Indian society poses a big challenge in implementation of UCC.
    India is a home to diverse culture and religion. It is important to question the laws which are driven by religion and culture which differs from one religion to the another.
    The Hindu personal laws were codified in the year 1956. However, there has been no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens of the country.
    the Supreme Court in a case concerning the question of whether succession and inheritance of a Goan domicile is governed by the Portuguese Civil Code, 1867 or the Indian Succession Act of 1925, held that:

    The Constitution in Article 44 requires the State to strive to secure for its citizens a Uniform Civil Code(UCC) throughout India, but till date, no action has been taken in this regard

    Despite exhortations of this Court in the case of Shah Bano in 1985, the government has done nothing to bring the Uniform Civil Code.
    Constitutional challenges:Freedom of religion gets into conflict with the right to equality.Article 25 lays down an individual’s fundamental right to religion.Article 26(b) upholds the right of each religious denomination or any section thereof to manage its own affairs in matters of religion.
    Article 29 defines the right to conserve distinctive culture.These rights gets into conflict with the equality before law enshrined under article 14 and 15.Moreover, an individual’s freedom of religion under Article 25 is subject to “public order, health, morality”.The UCC must carve a balance between the protection of fundamental rights and religious dogmas of individuals. It should be a code, which is just and proper according to a man of ordinary prudence, without any bias with regards to religious and political considerations.

  19. Uniform Civil Code has been in debate since long. In a country like India which has a diverse culture and is home to people from different religions there needs to be a uniformity in the law which the people have to follow. Uniform Civil Code provides such a platform. One of the major reasons for delay has been the criticism that the Uniform Civil Code attracts.
    There are various legal and political reasons for which the Uniform Civil Code is not bring into practice.
    One of the major drawbacks of the Uniform Civil Code is that it is often seen as an interference to religion which can be considered as a violation of the freedom of practicing one’s religion which is guaranteed under the article 25 of the Indian Constitution.
    In order to bring Uniform Civil Code to practice the issue of violation of Article 25 must be addressed.

  20. India being a democratic form of government has no religion of its own and propagates the belief that all the religions are equal for the state, along with making sure that the same is enforced through laws in the nation. The Preamble of the Indian Constitution itself declares India as a secular state and Part IV, Article 44the Directive Principle of State Policy of the Indian Constitution provides the guidelines to the government for making policies subjected to the Uniform Civil Code. And it is ironic that although the constitutional status of India is secular, which talks about equal rights in all religions, but in a secular country, there is no uniformity and has not been able to move forward on the path of equal law till date.

    The implementation of the Uniform Civil Code will strengthen the enforcement of laws on the citizens and prohibits favouritism towards any gender or religion.

    The idea of a uniform civil code is intriguing but faces many challenges. One of the biggest issues is that if not implemented properly it can be in conflict with the people‘s right to practice their religion.

    Time and again, the issue has been at the center of political narrative and debate for over a century that the process has been slowed down and eschewed by the legislation, despite all the factors pointing towards need of the Uniform civil Code. Each and every religion needs to be taken hand in hand, to prevent the any form of debacles or errors.

    In dept analysis and studies are required to ensure the executing of the Uniform Civil Code has a progressive impact on India. The question before us lies whether even after 73 years of the Indian Constitution in place can India continue to outlook the need of Uniform Civil Code. It is radically based on the present circumstances, today or tomorrow we will need Uniform Civil Code, the subject cannot be outcasted for a long period of time, or else India will drown without upgradation.

  21. The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India which is applicable to all the religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. However, In India the purpose of Uniform Civil code is to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen.
    For example, currently, there are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims. Therefore, many Countries like Israel, Japan, France and Russia are strong today because of their sense of oneness which we have yet to develop and propagate. Virtually, all the countries have UCC or uniform law either civil or criminal. The European nations and US have a secular law that applies equally and uniformly to all citizens irrespective of their religion. The Islamic countries have a uniform law based on shariah which applies to all individuals irrespective of their religion. For example, under Islamic law, a man can only bequeath or gift one-third of his property to an individual who is neither his child nor his wife, and is bound to keep two-thirds for his family.
    Thus to conclude that citizens belonging to different religions and denominations follow different property and matrimonial laws which is not only an affront to the nation’s unity but also makes one wonder whether we are a sovereign, secular, republic, etc. where people live at the whims and fancies of mullahs, bishops and pandits. Also, it is a time that India must have a uniform law dealing with marriage, divorce, succession, inheritance, and maintenance. Thus, Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a must for a country where secularism is given great prestige in resolving outrageous problems of the nation.

  22. There is equality and uniformity in all that we exercise in our country from our rights to duties, India has since the very beginning faced a lot of problem in implementing the Uniform Civil Code, under which there will be uniformity from the stage of marriage, inheritance, divorce, adoptions and other areas. Goa is the only state in India in which there is ucc and has been implementing it since the British rule, there is no hassle there, people from all communities, religion, gender abide by the law and live in harmony. UCC emerged as a critical topic in the Shah Bano Case in 1985, where the debate started that there should be implementation of certain laws on all, and not selectively to a particular community, the focus then shifted on the Sharia Law where there was permission for polygamy, unilateral divorce. UCC was proposed twice in the year of 2019 and 2020 but was withdrawn without any introduction in the Parliament, as there has been seemingly conflict between the RSS and BJP. The Uniform Civil Code will though be a tough decision, but we should focus on the larger benefits of it, there will be civil and uniform implementation for all matters, specifically talking about the cases of marriage and divorce even inheritance. Since India is a culturally rich country with the presence of about 10,000 and more different religions, it also is a very difficult and long process which once implemented would be beneficial for our generations to come

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