Dehradun, Uttarakhand: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Pushkar Singh Dhami-led Uttarakhand Government has tabled the Uniform Civil Code Bill in the Assembly today, 6 February.
History behind UCC
The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) has been one of the intense subjects of discussion for over a decade. But recently it took centre stage. The introduction of UCC was a key poll promise of the BJP in the run-up to the 2014 general elections and was reiterated before the 2022 Legislative Assembly elections in Uttarakhand.
What is the Uniform Civil Code?
This Uniform Civil Code (UCC) comes under Article 44 of the Indian constitution which refers to directive principles of state policy. The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) states that the state shall undertake to offer a unified set of laws to its citizens within the Indian boundaries. The Uniform Civil Code aims to establish a uniform legal framework for all citizens, regardless of their religion
What are the key features of UCC Uttarakhand 2024 Bill?
Some of the key features of the Bill include - equal property rights for sons and daughters, elimination of the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children, equal property rights after death, and inclusion of adopted and biological children.
The Bill mandates registration of ‘live-in relationships’ within a period of one month from the date of entering into the relationship. Failure of registration would attract a punishment of six months.
Notably, Pushkar Singh Dhami government exempted the tribal communities from the purview of the Bill. Tribals make up almost 2.9% of the state's population, and notable groups include the Jaunsari, Bhotiyas, Tharus, Rajis and Buksas.
Here’s how political leaders react:
"We won't abide by it (UCC Bill) if it is against the 'hidayat' (instructions) given to Muslims in the Quran. We don't have any issue if it is as per 'hidayat'," says Samajwadi Party MP ST Hasan.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has also criticised the legislation.
While talking about the Assembly proceedings, Congress MLA Yashpal Arya said, "The House works as per the Assembly Manual, and today, Question Hour should happen, but after disobeying the laws and the constitutional values, it (Question Hour) has been cancelled. They (BJP) are doing this because of their arrogance and majority."
Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat said, "If the state government brings a law for the ruling class in the name of Uniform Civil Code to intervene in the traditions of another community, won't there be disharmony?"
On Centre plans to move ahead on the Uniform Civil Code, Union Minister for Law and Justice Arjun Ram Meghwal on Monday said that the Uniform Civil Code is in the consultation process and being reviewed by the Law Commission of India.
“This is not just the issue of the Centre; the makers of the Constitution had discussed this even when the Constitution was being made...Right now, this matter is under consideration with the Law Commission of India and is in the consultation process," said Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.