The Uniform Civil Code is a vision to contribute to a uniformly structured
legislature that will reserve all the aspects revolving around the personal
religious and civil laws of every religion in India. The UCC will grant uniform
personal laws to every religion to attain secularism and override personal laws
of different religions, races, caste, creed etc.
The laws in India at present, are very diverse in terms of marriage, divorce,
succession, adoption, guardianship etc. UCC aims to protect the interests of the
vulnerable sections which includes minority religions and women and to promote
nationalistic zeal through unity. Different personal laws in India govern
personal matters like the Hindu Marriage Act 1956, Succession Act 1956, The
Sharia Act 1937, Indian Divorce Act 1969, etc. There is no uniformity in
personal laws as they confer unequal rights depending on religion or gender.
Comparisons of various Personal Laws
The Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsi Personal Laws to understand any present
distinctions in their personal laws. Following are the instances where such
differences could be explicitly seen
Indian Hindu Laws
In India, even after being a stringent follower of Equality, we are yet to
introduce the concept of Matrimonial Property
where the interests of women are
safeguarded and protected. The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 Act
a secondary status and a subordinate position in the context of
Indian Muslim Laws
Under the Muslim law, if there is no free consent by the bride then the marriage
is considered to be void and illegal but the same provision is not applicable to
a Hindu bride.
The volume of property inherited by a women hair is half the quantum of property
inherited to a male hair.
Before the landmark judgement of the Honorable Supreme Court in Shah Bano Begum
case, divorced Muslim women were not entitled to enjoy a single rupee in
contrast to the Hindu divorced women.
Under the Parsi law when a Parsi woman dies, her son and daughter have an equal
share in the property but on the other hand, the daughter gets an unequal share
when she has to acquire her Father's property.
Further, if a Parsi woman marries a non Parsi man, she is not accepted as a
Parsi anymore and she is banned from following all the religious practices as a
Under the Parsi laws, it has been stated that the children of a Parsi
Zoroastrian man married out of the community are accepted in the Parsi community
and are called as Parsis
but the same is not the case of a woman. In case, a
Parsi Zoroastrian woman marries outside her community, her children are not
accepted as Parsis
and such children are also denied entry to the Fire Temple.
Anti Women Practices Prevailing In Personal Laws
As per Muslim laws, a man cannot remarry his wife after he divorced
her, unless the wife is married to another man and gets divorced from that man
or after the death of second husband.
The process of making the woman permissible for her first husband by giving her
marriage to a third person with a pre condition is known as NIKAH HALALA also
known as TAHLEEL marriage abused.
This issue came before the Bombay high court when singer Adnan Sami challenged
the validity of his marriage. He married his wife in 2001, divorced her in 2004
and then remarried her in 2007. Since halala was not performed by the parties,
the family court held the second marriage to be invalid.
The Bombay high court, however, held that a wife is not obliged to perform
halala. Halala is mandatory only if the couple divorced using triple talaq, the
Imagine a women who has been divorced by her husband using triple talaq in anger
or drunken state and now they want to be married again. The is left with two
choices either she marry another man consummate the marriage and hope that the
second also divorces her so that she can marry her first husband or she can
remarry her first husband without performing HALALA and lose all her matrimonial
rights. Women who seek halala services are at risk of being financially
exploited, blackmailed, and seually abused.
A Muslim man in could legally divorce his wife by proclaiming three times
consecutively the word 'TALAK'. A triple talaq divorce is valid even if the
husband says talaq three times on the phone, in a letter or even on WhatsApp.
The use and status of triple talak in India has been a subject of controversy
and debate. The practice have raised issues of justice, gender equality, human
rights and secularism.
The Muslim women protection of rights on marriage act, 2019 passed on July 2019
after a very long discussion and opposition finally got the verdict to all
women. It made triple talak illegal in India on august 1 2019.
Age Of Marriage For Women
IN India the age of marriage is not uniform. The legal eligible age of marriage
for women 18 while for men this age is 21. In Muslims age of girls is not
defined. Currently the age of marriage is 21 common for all.
Why One Law For Everyone
For creating a common identity and sense of belonging among all citizens. To
reduce the communal and sectarian conflicts that arise due to different personal
laws. In personal laws women did not get their rights after divorce or at the
time of death of husband but with the implementation of Uniform Civil Code they
will get their rights, children can have their future bright and even it will
also help our country to grow and to develop. UCC would modernise and reform the
outdated and regressive practices that are prevalent in some personal laws such
as triple talaq, polygamy, child marriage, etc.
In India most of the Muslim women get restrained from their right to property,
dowry settlement and divorce. Muslim law allows polygamy and is a patriarchal
law allowing a man to give divorce to his wife by allowing Triple Talak which
has been abolished.
However Muslim women have been given no right to file for divorce without the
permission of their husbands as given in Quran and hadiths. Gender justice
cannot be achieved through personal laws, especially in the case of Muslim
women. Muslim personal law, as followed in India, is inherently biased against
women and many times leads to their exploitation. UCC speedy justice can be
delivered and all people will get equal status and there would be no
UCC would ensure gender justice and equality by removing the discrimination and
oppression faced by women under various personal laws. It would grant equal
rights and status to women in matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance,
adoption, maintenance, etc. It would also empower women to challenge the
patriarchal and regressive practices that violate their fundamental rights. It
would simplify and rationalise the legal system by removing the complexities and
contradictions of multiple personal laws.
It would harmonise the civil and criminal laws by removing the anomalies and
loopholes that arise due to different personal laws. It would make the law more
accessible and understandable for the common people.
Countries With Uniform Civil Code
Countries like Canada, USA, Australia, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, Russia,
Indonesia etc, adopted the Uniform Civil Code for their society, culture,
religion and to remove discrimination amongst the communities.
Milestone Of Cases
Cases Governing The Muslim Law
Mohd Ahmed Khan Vs Shah Bano Begum
Mohd Ahmed Khan (the appealing party) who was a lawyer by profession, married to
Shah Bano Begum (the respondent) in 1932, had three sons and two daughters from
this marriage. In 1975, when Shah Bano�s age was 62 years, she was disowned by
her spouse and was tossed out from her marital home together with her children.
In 1978, she filed an appeal in the presence of Judicial Magistrate of Indore,
because she was abandoned from the maintenance of Rs. 200 per month, which was
guaranteed to be provided by him. She demanded Rs. 500 per month as maintenance.
Subsequently, the husband gave her irrevocable triple talaq on November 6th,
1978, and used it as a defence to not pay maintenance. The magistrate, in August
1979, directed the husband to pay an entirety of Rs 25 per month as maintenance.
Shah Bano in July 1908 made a plea to the High Court of M.P, to change the sum
of maintenance to Rs. 179 each month, and high court increased the maintenance
to the said amount i.e. Rs. 179 per month. The same was challenged by the spouse
within the Supreme Court as a special leave petition to the High court's
decision. Husband gave an irrevocable talaq (divorce) to her which was his
prerogative under Islamic law and took up the defense that since Shah Bano had
ceased to be his wife and therefore he was under no obligation to provide
maintenance for her as except prescribed under the Islamic law which was in
The issue was finally taken up by Supreme Court and it decided it in favour of
Shah Bano using secular Criminal Procedure Code regardless of religion. Shah
Bano won the Case and got the Right to get Alimony from her Husband.
This was the case of a Triple Talaq verdict which according to me was a historic
verdict as it maintains the truth and faith of the people in the judiciary as in
this case, "Justice and equality has overcome religion". According to me this
lawsuit was milestone in judiciary as it was courageous, bold, impartial and
unique decision. This judgement has marked the importance of maintenance which
should be provided to the divorced Muslim women who are not in the condition to
earn and maintain themselves.
Even though the verdict of Shah Bano case given by the Supreme Court was
invalidate by the endorsement of Muslim Women Act, the court held in further
verdict's that divorced Muslim. women, under Section 125 can affirm maintenance
or alimony from their former husband, or apart from this divorced Muslim women
can assert or claim for round some money or amount under Muslim Women Act. The
Supreme Court even though after dirty politics passed the judgement that was
impartial and at last it had maintained the trust and faith of citizens in
Cases Governing The Indian Christian Law
Mary Roy belonged to the Syrian Christian community and was married to bengali
man against her family's wishes. She divorced her husband at 30 when she came to
know that he was an alcoholic. Thereafter she moved to her father's cottage
where she had decided to raise her two children. after the death of her father
she was told that she has no claim over the property as it comes under
Travancore Christian Succession Act of 1916. Mary Roy saw this as a violation of
her rights to equality guaranteed under Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of
Roy filed a suit against her brother George Isaac in the lower court in 1960 but
it was denied after which she appealed in the Madras High Court against the
order of lower court. The verdict came in her favour and the High Court directed
that the property is handed over to Mary Roy by her family.
After fighting for over four decades Mary finally got her equal share of her
father's property. She fought not just for her rights in her father's property
but for all the Christian women who were denied their right to property .
Benefits of UCC
With the implementation of healthy and robust personal laws and by equality
embracing both men and women, there will be no gender biases in our sovereign
democratic republican country thus promoting gender parity. There will be no
place for special privileges or politicization of issues on the grounds of
religion or community. Young generation and students would be quite motivated
and inspired to observe that their homeland has weighed humanity, equality and
modesty on the same scale.
Also through the introduction of UCC, we might enlighten the stereotypes behind
every culture and faith.
Everybody would be able to enjoy the same rights as mentioned under one discrete
law. Thus, this will lead to an increase in the fulfilment of the Constitutional
objectives like Unity, Integrity and Fraternity.
But on the other hand, such an independent and discrete law for all the citizens
might lead to a feeling of encroachment on personal freedom of the Indian
citizens. UCC might also question certain age-old and downtrodden issues which
might lead to unnatural consequences and risks in the state.
Such an act by the legislature might also prove to be violative of Article 25 of
the Indian Constitution and may also lead to internal aggression, rebellions and
communal wars. Moreover, the scope of religious freedom will be reduced and the
administration of the country will not remain focused on its implemented
A woman's liberty, authorization and upliftment has always triggered a huge
discussion and debate in the Indian society but hardly any major or
revolutionary development has been recorded so far. There has been an enormous
lapse in the Hindu laws but the Muslim, Christian and Parsi laws still continue
to be very stringent in their practice. This is the sole reason that has kept a
woman at the grace of the other gender throughout their life.
Thus, UCC is undoubtedly the need of the society in today's contemporary times
but such a drastic revolution will not take place in just one day, it will take
years and years for UCC to come into effect. The measure of UCC has to be an
evolution and not a revolution. Hence, Uniform Civil Code is now halfway on
their complete implementation to abolish injustice in the patriarchal society.
It might seem that UCC is a bane for society but over a period of time, by
maturation and amendment of certain personal laws it will definitely prove to be
a great boon for women as well as the country.
Thus, the Indian nationals cannot exhaustively rely on the Parliamentarians to
pass a bill and implement a law. Instead, it is the primary liability of the
Judiciary as well as the Honorable Supreme Court to widen the outlook and bring
about gradual and progressive evolution of various personal laws through their
interpretation of provisions and statutes.
Such amendments before getting into force need to be firstly, analyse and
secondly, accepted by the society as a measure of healthy development for the
public at large. Thus, at a future date we as a country might reach this stage
where the personal laws that are in conflict with the Fundamental objectives of
the Constitution are eradicated through step-by-step amendments and that would
be a day when we would address India as a fully developed country.