The Nation of Bhinnata Mei Ekta ‘Bharat’ has always accepted the truth of
religion being sole code of conduct of human beings. The way a wound is healed
by the medicines, a burn is calmed by the cube of ice same the soul of human
beings finds its calmness and purification in professing his pious religion in
all possible ways a man could.
As the education shows the man his real
capabilities simultaneously mirror of religion shows man a pious path to walk
over and acquire the notion of nirvana, moksha or jannat. But the secularist
country BHARAT soon became a hub of religious monarchy, the rights and customs
became stricter but the basic foundations of religion became more fragile. The
atrocities against women enhanced the inequality among two creation of god
resulted in dominating society, the land of Rani Lakshmi Bai to Kalpana Chawla,
from professor Kalam to Himalayan personality Atal Bihari Vajpayee the terra
firma had become sarcastically a one to one religious monarchy land.
But in the
clouds of farrago of Caste and creed the lamp light of expression, of belief and
faith called- UNIFORM CIVIL CODE- ONE NATION ONE RELIGION and the religion is
HUMANITY. The expression UCC is a ray of hope for women’s of country, a bed of
thorns for the entire sage society, a curse for religious societies but A
BLESSING FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
History and origin of uniform civil code
Personal laws were first framed during the British Raj, mainly for Hindu and
Muslim citizens. The British feared opposition from community leaders and
refrained from further interfering within this domestic sphere.
The demand for a Uniform Civil Code was first put forward by women activist in
the beginning of the 20th century, with the objective of women’s rights,
equality and secularism.
Till Independence in 1947, a few law reforms were passed to improve the
condition of women, especially Hindu widows. In 1956, the Indian Parliament
passed Hindu code bill amidst significant opposition. Though a demand for a
Uniform Civil Code was made by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, his supporters
and women activists, they had to finally accept the compromise of it being added
to the Directive Principles because of heavy opposition.
The preamble of our constitution does say that there should be a Uniform Civil
Code. It needs to have a wider consolation.
In the preamble to the constitution which is identical to the aspirations and
goals of everybody including the religion. It is high time that we have imbedded
the secularist spiritually of our constitution which is both dialogical and
dialectical. Every religion and group has the duty to revolution spirituality of
constitutional secularism suited to each ones ethos and disseminates the same.
There is a need for a UNIFORM CIVIL CODE in a SECULAR INDIA
Secular India has to begin with a Uniform Civil Code that ensures equal rights
to all citizens without exceptions.
‘Religion impinges on every human right in the civil law-
whether it is birth, death, marriage, divorce; the religions have laws on all
these issues.’ So making India secular necessarily means democratic religion out
of our social institution.
If we talk about secular country, equality, so then why we should not adopt
Uniform Civil Code. It’s not about implement rights it is about implementing
rights in right manner.
Medicines are important for a healthy India, Uniform Civil Code is necessary for
a secular India so that the same laws are valid for every citizens without
taking religion into consideration.
Making unnecessary laws and making every aspect of life bounded by different
laws, rituals and all is non-sense and immaterial. National Identity will be
more secure and human resources much better utilized. It will add to the
country’s growth and development. Indian divorce act, SHARIA act are unnecessary
complications. A Uniform Civil Code embodies justice and there should be no
compromise on it.
If Uniform Civil Code is introduced it will make India a secular nation, not
only on paper but also in reality.
Article 44 of the Indian constitution and Directive
Part IV of the constitution of India deals with the DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF
STATE POLICY which aren’t enforceable by any court but which are supposed to
play a fundamental role in the governance of the country.
Among other Directive Principles is Article 44 which asks
the state to “Endeavour to secure for citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout
the territory of India.” The Uniform Civil Code is right now very heated topic
with an India Muslim Personal Law Board accusing the government of attempting to
sneak it in the under the government of promoting gender equality through its
opposition to triple talaq in the supreme court.
In a Historic Judgment in Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India 
The Supreme Court has directed the Prime Minister Narsimha Rao to take fresh
look at Article 44 of the constitution which enjoins the state to secure a
Uniform Civil Code which, accordingly to the court is imperative for both
protection of the oppressed and protection of national unity and integrity.
The court directed the Union Government through the secretary to Ministry of law
and justice, to file an affidavit by August 1995 indicating the steps taken and
efforts made, by the government, towards securing a uniform civil code for the
citizens of India.
So in nut and shell, it’s all about setting a common civil code for all beings
of all religions.
Directive principle and a brave fight up by Muslim women against the practice of
triple talaq have once again brought into focus the lack of a Uniform Civil
Uniform Civil Code is needed because of gender injustice. The rights of women
are usually limited under religious law, be it Hindu or Muslim, the example of
triple talaq and sati. These both are classic examples that the 44th Article is
also exploited which demand a Uniform Civil Code for every citizen.
Noor saba khatoon v. Mohd. Quasim
The Supreme Court held that divorced woman is entitled to claim maintenance for
her children till they become major.
The court held that both under section 125 of criminal procedure code, 1973 the
obligation of the father was absolute when the children were living with the
divorced wife. This ruling war given by the court while allowing an appeal by
Ms. Noor Saba Khatoon challenging the judgment of the Patna High Court which had
rendered the amount of maintenance.
The court made it clear that this right was not
restricted, affected or controlled by divorced wife. Right to claim maintenance
for two years from the date of birth of the children under Section 3(1)(B) of
the Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) Act 1986.
The children of Muslim parents are entitled to claim
maintenance under section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code till they attain
majority to maintain themselves.
Shah bano case
After passing of the Hindu code bill, the personal laws in India had 2 major
areas of application: The common Indian citizens and the Muslim Community, whose
laws were kept away from any reforms. The frequent conflict between Secular and
Religious Authorities over the issue of Uniform Civil Code Eventually decreased
until the 1985 Shah Bano Case. Bano was a 73 years old woman who sought
maintenance from the Husband, Muhammad Ahmad Khan.
He had divorced her after 40
years of marriage by triple talaq and denied her regular maintenance; this sort
of unilateral divorce was permitted under the Muslim Personal Law. She was
initially granted maintenance by the verdict of a local court in 1980. Khan a
lawyer himself challenged this decision, taking it to the Supreme Court the
Muslim conservatives who accused the government of promoting Hindu dominance
over every Indian citizen at the expense of minorities. The criminal code was
seen as a treat to the Muslim personal law, which they considered their cultural
identity. According to them, the judiciary recommending a Uniform Civil Code was
evidence that Hindu values would be imposed over every Indian.
The orthodox Muslim felt that their communal identity was at stake if their
personal laws were governed by the judiciary. The member of Muslim parliament
member proposed a bill to protect their personal law in the parliament. The
congress reversed its previous position and court saying that he had fulfilled
all his obligations under Islamic law. The Supreme Court ruled in her favor in
1985 under the maintenance of wives and children and parents provision [section
125] of the citizens irrespective of religion. Beside her case two other Muslim
women had previously received maintenance under the Criminal Code in 1979 and
The Shah Bano case soon became National wide political issue and a widely
debated controversy. Many conditions like the supreme courts recommendation made
her case have such public and political interest. After the 1948 anti Sikh
Riots, minorities in India with Muslims being the largest, felt threatened with
the need to safeguard their culture. The All Indian Muslim Board defended the
application of their laws and supported this bill while the Hindu Right, the
left Muslim liberals and women’s organization strongly opposed it. The Muslim
women’s [protection of rights on divorce] was passed in 1986 which made a claim
emphasizing the importance of the cultural community over national by saying
that only a Muslim judge could intercede in such cases, I am finding that many
people are more sympathetic towards Muslim women that their own women. This is
The politicians led to argument having two major sides; the congress and Muslim
conservation verses the Hindu right wing and the left. In 1987, the ministers of
social welfare, Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, reported that no women were give
maintenance by the Wakt Board in 1986. Women activist highlighted their legal
status and according to them main problem is that there many laws but women are
dominated not by secular laws the legal reversal of introducing the Muslim women
law significantly by hampered the nationwide women’s movement in the 1980’s.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on Uniform Civil Code-
After the Indian independence there was a debate, though, argument, discourse
and dissertate to codify personal laws. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar expressed his anxiety
at the time of codification of Hindu code bill that-
‘I want to assert in this house while I am here that I shall hear no argument
from any community to say that the Parliament has no right to interfere in their
personal laws or any other laws. This Parliament is absolutely supreme and we
deal with any community, so far as their personal law is concerned apart from
No community is in the state of mind that they are immune from the sovereign
authority of this Parliament.
I am asking of this house is thus:
That if you want to maintain the Hindu system, the Hindu culture, the Hindu
society does not hesitate to repair, where repair is necessary.’
When the B.R. Ambedkar first time has said in Parliament to implement Uniform
Civil Code, but there is consent at that time and not even today also. They
wanted to introduce an Uniform Civil Code in India during the Constitutional
debates by getting inspired by the western world where such Uniform Civil Code
already in societies, with the object of bringing uniformity and unity in
society. So it is a threat to communal harmony. When our politicians are not
ready even our law makers are not giving their consent then implementation and
execution is far away or a very big question of the decade.
Thus the Uniform Civil Code was left to be implemented by government in the
future and was added under Part IV of the Constitution as one of the Directive
Principles of State Policy. 
There are not only politicians but also many religions like- Jewish, Hindus,
Parsis, Muslims and Jains etc. in Hindu they follow dharma, in Muslim they
follow Fatvedari and in all other religions all people follow their own
cultures. So we all belong to different ideologies and to bring one thing in all
religions is a very big challenge.
To bring all the religions under the same roof and under the same code of
conduct is next to impossible for the country like India which has accepted the
secularism at the initial stage of Independence. It is quite difficult for us to
make all the religions understand that how important Uniform Civil Code is for
us and specially when we are talking about women’s, some religions are here in
India which do not consider women as the equal status and they define women as
being the most, most and most victimized personality of all the time.
Supreme Court discussed the need of Uniform Civil Code-
- Mrs. Jordan Dingdeh v. S.S. Chopra
The case before the court is an illustration of a marital tie which is better
united. There is no point or purpose to be served by continuance of marriage
which has completely and singly broken down. We suggest that the time has come
for the interventions of the legislature in these matters to provide for a
Uniform Code of marriage and divorce and to provide by law for a way out of the
unhappy situations in which couples like this case have find themselves in.
- Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum & ors
Muslim Personal Law on concept of divorce- Whether on the pronouncements of
‘talaq’ and on the expiry of the period of iddat a divorced wife ceases to be a
wife. In this case Dr. Tahir Mahmood in his book ‘Muslim Personal Law’ (1977
edition, pages 200-202) has made a powerful plea for framing a Uniform Civil
Code for all citizens of India.
- John Vallamattom & anr v. Union of India
After Independence Goa is the only state in India where there is a UCC is
applicable; i.e. irrespective of caste, community or religion there is one
Common Family Code which deals with the matrimony, succession and adoption. In
rest of India, many religious groups are still in doubt on authenticity of a UCC
Disadvantages of Uniform Civil Code-
- Difficulties due to India’s diversity– The implementation of the Uniform
Civil Code is a unmanageable task due to a wide diversity of our nation.
Cultural differences from state to state and community to community is yet
another hindrance for a personal law
- Idea of Uniform Civil Code as encroachment on religious freedom- Many
communities, particularly minority communities perceive Uniform Civil Code
as an encroachment on their rights to religious freedom. They fear that a
common code will neglect their traditions and impose rules which will be
mainly control and influenced by the majority religious communities.
- Interference of state in personal matters- The constitution provides for
the right to freedom of religion of one’s choice. With codification of
uniform rules and its compulsion, the scope of the freedom of religion will
- It is a sensitive and tough task to implement- Uniform Civil Code, in
its true spirit, must be brought about by borrowing freely from different
personal laws, making gradual changes in each, issuing judicial
pronouncements assuring gender equality, and adopting expansive
interpretations on marriage, maintenance, adoption, divorce and succession
by acknowledging the benefits that one community secures from the others.
This task will be very demanding time and human resource wise. The
government should be sensitive and unbiased at each step while dealing with
the majority and minority communities. Otherwise it might turn out to be
more disastrous in a form of communal violence.
- Open the gates for religion politics- If Uniform Civil Code will come
than it will open the gates for religion politics because of Uniform Civil
Code everyone’s personal law will affect. For example- Specially the Sharia law, it
permits the man that he can marry more than one wife and may live together with
4 wives at a time and on the other side women’s doesn’t have this right. So
these inequalities will come to an end by UCC but they will not accept it. By
this insurgency will come and many petitions are going to be filed in courts. It
will emerge into a big problem and opens the gate of religion politics.
- A threat to communal harmony- Probable misunderstandings concerning the
Uniform Civil Code created a fear among various religions especially
minorities. It is often viewed by many religions that UCC is aimed against their religious
customs and values. Before the implementation of UCC, authorities should win the
trust of minorities. Otherwise it will destroy the communal harmony of nation.
- Government’s interference into personal freedom- It is often viewed by
many that it is distorted game of the government to interfere in personal
freedom of individuals. But Uniform Civil Code is aiming only to protect and
safeguard the rights of all citizens.
- Not yet the correct time for implementation- The Muslim community is
opposing the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code and stating that it is
not the correct time. Also, they are arguing that the subject should take
into consideration along with other recent issues the silence of authorities
in relation to saffronization of schools, beef issues etc are triggering them and
further stating as the overruling of majorities over minorities.
Advantages of uniform civil code-
By the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code across the nation will enable to
abolish gender discrimination from the nation. For example, according to various
religions, inheritance, marriages etc are male dominated. Women’s were treated
as chattels. After seven decades of independence also women are battling for
- To promote National Integrity- The formation of UCC will promote the
national integrity. Even though our country has diverse cultural values, a
integrate personal law irrespective of gender, caste, creed etc will promote
the national unity
- Founder or base of secularism- The preamble of our constitution clearly
states that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular state. But it is high
time to think that whether the citizens of India will enjoy real secularism
without the implementation of Uniform Civil Code. Even after decades of
independence also different personal laws are in existence for different
- Social reforms- once the Uniform Civil Code is formulated across the
nation, India will undergo another social reform in this century. For
instance, in the Indian context, Muslim women are denied personal laws in
relation to marriage, divorce etc. On contrary, various Muslim nations like
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Morocco etc women enjoy codified personal
laws. So after the implementation of Uniform Civil Code Indian women
[especially Muslims, Christians etc] will also enjoy a codified personal
law. Therefore, a stepping stone towards another social reform across the
- Provides equal status to all citizens- In the modern era, a secular
democratic republic should have a common civil and personal laws for its
citizens irrespective of their religion, class, caste, gender etc.
- Promote the gender parity- It is normally sawed that personal laws of
all religions are unfair or one sided towards women. Men are usually granted
superior status in matters of succession, inheritance, divorce. Uniform
Civil Code will bring both men and women pari materia.
- Accommodate the hope of the young population- It is a very huge
advantage for youngsters. When Uniform Civil Code will implement than many
problems will come to an end. Like- there will be no discrimination on the
issues of man and women, all were treated equal. Issues like marriage,
divorce, Nikah halala, maintenance in Muslim’s will come to an end and young age will
face no problems because of religion basis. Uniform Civil Code will accommodate
all the people.
- To support the national integration- All Indian citizens are already
equal before the court of law as the criminal laws and other civil laws
(except personal laws) are same for all. With the implementation of Uniform
Civil Code, all citizens will share the same set of personal laws. There
will be no scope of politicization of issues of the discrimination or
concessions or special privileges enjoyed by a particular community on the
basis of their religious personal laws.
- Bypass the issues of reform of existing personal law- Existing personal
laws are mainly based on the upper class particular notions of the society
in all religions. The demand of Uniform Civil Code is normally made by
aggrieved women as a substitute for existing personal laws as patriarchal
orthodox people still deem the reforms in personal laws will destroy their
sanctity and oppose it prodigally.
Overview of uniform civil code-
The issue of the uniform civil code has emerged into India’s
political discourse mainly because many Muslim woman affected adversely by the
personal laws. It is commonly observed that personal laws of almost all
religions are discriminatory towards woman. Men are usually granted upper
preferential status in matters of succession and inheritance. Uniform Civil Code
will bring both man and woman at par.
In India and according to our Constitution’s Article 14, we talk about Right to
Equality for both man and woman equally.
- But in India where is equality?
- Why a
woman is suffering all this?
There are many lacks for women in Muslim law whether it is divorce, maintenance,
succession and inheritance, Nikah halala system at every place women is
suffering. Even there are differences in marriage system also. Like according to
section 3(f) (i) (ii) of Hindu Marriage Act Sapinda marriages are void or
marriages between brother and sister is void ab initio.
But at the other side
Muslims permit the Sapinda relationships, there is no violation in marriage
between brother and sister. This all will create a big problem towards the UCC
if it comes to an existence. For implement Uniform Civil Code, firstly it have
to make some laws in favor of all citizens, and have to collaborate between all
religions, by thinking for all religions and by giving some ideas in favor of
all religions and this will bring harmony among the peoples. It will not create
any conflict between peoples or religions.
The phrase which is used in India is that ‘BHINATTA MEIN EKTA’ so the thing is
that why we should use Bhinnata, except we should use that ‘Ekta- ek mein hi
Ekta’. When we can have one Nation one tax than why cannot we have the one
nation one law? Specifically we are human, we are here to serve the humanity,
and we are here to save the humanity, to protect the human hood which we are
The god has made all of us as humans the variations which we have given
ourselves as of the Hindus, as of the Muslim, as of the Christian, as of the
Parsis, as of the Jewish or as of the jain, is our own, it is not given by the
god. So we should understand that the Uniform Civil Code is signatory step so
that we can go for a particular code of conduct and can understand that it’s not
necessary for the India to be Bhinnata in Ekta, we can have same religion, same
caste, same thing that is the humanity. No Muslim, no Hindu, no Christian, no
Jewish, no Jains but humans. India needs right now a particular signatory step
for understanding the human hood firstly.
Than we can go for the other laws,
changing of laws, changing of Nikah Halala system, changing of condition of
women’s or changing of any other system but first we need equality especially
among ourselves than we can go for the Uniform Civil Code. So the law makers or
the judiciary or the administrator or the normal citizens of India, the first
step we should be taken in the proceedings of Uniform Civil Code is it to be
understand that we are humans we should not deviate ourselves and our coming
generation into Hindu’s, Muslim’s, Jewish’s, Jain’s etc. ‘A Uniform Civil Code
can only emerge through an evolutionary process, which preserves India’s rich
legal heritage, of which all the personal laws are equal constituents.’
- AIR 1995 SC 1531
- 29 July, 1997AIR SC 3280
- AIR 1985 SC 945
- Indian Bar Review volume XL III (4) 2016
- AIR 1985 SC 934, 940
- 1985, SC 945
- AIR 2003 SC 2902