Polity Notes

Seeking Your Valuable Views On The Uniform Civil Code

Warm greetings to you all! The 22nd Law Commission of India is pleased to announce that they are once again reaching out to the public at large, as well as recognized religious organizations, to seek their valuable views and ideas on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The concept of a Uniform Civil Code aims to provide a common set of laws for all citizens of India, irrespective of their religious beliefs, with regards to personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. It seeks to promote equality, justice, and unity among all individuals, fostering a harmonious and inclusive society.

India needs a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to establish a common set of laws governing personal matters such as marriage, divorce, property, and adoption among others. Article 44 of the Indian Constitution directs the implementation of a UCC by Union & States governments at the earliest to promote social unity, equality, and justice for all citizens, irrespective of their religion. Currently, different personal laws exist for different religions, leading to disparities and inequalities in legal rights and practices. It is important to note that while there is a common Criminal Law that applies uniformly across the country, there is currently no common Civil Code. The absence of a uniform Civil code means that personal laws, such as those related to marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, vary among different religious communities.

India currently has separate personal laws for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and Parsis. Hindus, which include Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists, and Muslims, which include Shias and Sunnis, all have different sets of rules governing personal matters such as marriage, adoption, and divorce. This diversity in personal laws has often resulted in confusion, disparities, and inequalities within the legal system. However, with the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), there will be uniform laws applicable to every citizen, regardless of their religious background. The UCC aims to create a level playing field, ensuring equal rights and treatment for all individuals. By establishing a common legal framework, the UCC will eliminate discrimination, promote social cohesion, and uphold the principles of justice and equality for every citizen of India.

Although successive governments have recognized the importance of a UCC, its implementation has faced challenges and delays even after 75 years of independence. Despite including the UCC in their election manifestos, the ruling BJP government has encountered obstacles that have hindered the progress of enacting the code. However, it is worth mentioning that Goa is the only state in India that has successfully implemented the UCC, showcasing the feasibility and benefits of a uniform legal system.

Currently, states such as Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh have initiated the process to bring the UCC into effect within their respective jurisdictions. If implemented nationwide, the UCC would have a significant impact on the common public of our country. It would ensure equal rights and opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their religious background, fostering a sense of unity and harmony among diverse communities. It would simplify legal procedures and promote social integration, while also streamlining governance and reducing administrative complexities.

The UCC is an essential step towards building a modern, inclusive, and progressive society, where citizens are governed by a uniform set of laws that respect their individual rights and promote a sense of national identity. It is a crucial aspect of India's ongoing journey towards social justice, equality, and harmonious coexistence among its diverse population Therefore, gathering diverse perspectives is crucial in shaping any policy or legal framework. As Law Commission of India embark on this important journey, it wholeheartedly invites all citizens to share their thoughts, suggestions, and concerns regarding the Uniform Civil Code. These opinions are immensely valuable in helping us understand the wide range of perspectives that exist in our society.

Whether an individual citizen or represent a recognized religious organization, everyone is encouraged to participate in this consultation process. These inputs will play a pivotal role in shaping the recommendations of the Law Commission and ultimately contribute to the formation of a more equitable and just legal system.

In order to encourage participation and gather diverse perspectives, individuals who are interested and willing to do so have the opportunity to present their views within a period of 30 days from the date of the Notice. Citizens can express their opinions by sending an email to membersecretary-lci@gov.in addressed to the Law Commission of India. Moreover, the concerned stakeholders are also given the freedom to submit their contributions on the subject of the Uniform Civil Code in the form of consultation, discussion, or working papers. These submissions can be sent to the following address: "Member Secretary, Law Commission of India, 4th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi – 110 003." The Law Commission of India retains the authority to request a personal hearing or discussion with any individual or organization if necessary.

All concerned citizens, experts, and organizations are encouraged to actively engage in this important process of shaping the Uniform Civil Code. Your valuable contributions and thoughtful suggestions will play a crucial role in promoting equality, justice, and harmony in our diverse society. Together, let us work towards a comprehensive and inclusive legal framework that respects the rights and aspirations of all individuals, fostering a society built on principles of fairness and unity.

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