A week after the 22nd Law Commission invited recognized religious organizations and public views on the Uniform Civil Code within 30 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came out in favor of the UCC.
Uniform Civil Code – EXPLAINED
The concept of the Uniform Civil Code emphasizes a common code of personal laws for citizens of all religions of the country. The personal laws of citizens consist of aspects of marriage, inheritance, divorce, alimony, child custody, matrimony and many more similar aspects.
Currently, personal laws in India are varied and complex. India is a country where each religion follows its own specific provisions and regulations.
The debate over the Uniform Civil Code is heated in the country.
What does the Constitution say about the Uniform Civil Code?
While Part III of the Constitution mentions the fundamental rights of citizens which are enforceable against the State, Part IV of the Constitution of India mentions that the directive principles of state policy are not enforceable but act as directive principles for the state. These Guiding Principles play the role of a roadmap to govern the country.
Article 44 of the Constitution of India says that the State of India must “endeavour to ensure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined that the concept of Uniform Civil Code is derived from the Constitution.
Supreme Court on the Uniform Civil Code
The Supreme Court has shown its support for the UCC in several rulings. In the landmark Shah Bano case (1985), the Supreme Court upheld a Muslim woman’s right to seek alimony. The ruling in the Shah Bano case sparked political battles and controversies over the extent of the court’s interference in the personal laws of the Muslim community.
“A common Civil Code will help the cause of national integration by eliminating disparate loyalties to the law that have conflicting ideologies,” the Court said.
Last year, in October, the Center stated that the Constitution obliges the State to respect the Uniform Civil Code for citizens. He said the matter would be presented before the 22nd Law Commission.
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