File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Unraveling the Uniform Civil Code: A Comprehensive Overview

India is a big country with diverse culture and traditions. Communities follow their particular customs and traditions. Particularly in the case of marriage, divorce, inheritance of property different laws are followed. So, it is difficult in the part of government to make one rule for all.

All the personal laws of various communities are governed by their religious scriptures. Personal laws are those laws which covers marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, and maintenance. For the first time British rulers brought the personal laws for Hindus and Muslims.

After independence in the constituent assembly if India the topic of uniform civil code has been discussed. In a newly independent country like India which came into being after large scale communal violence Uniform Civil Code is a very sensitive issue. So, it was mentioned in the Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP). Directive principles are ideal principles which to be followed by the government and citizens.

But they are neither mandatory nor enforceable by law. It helps in maintaining public welfare and social harmony. To make the directive principle enforceable in the court of law government must legislate on Directive Principles of State Policies articles separately. Sometimes Directive principles can also clash with the fundamental rights. Everybody wished a law could be made and implemented.

Meenu Mashani was the first member of the constituent assembly who raised the issue of uniform civil code. Proposal of this code got support from the women members in the constituent assembly. Hansa Mehta argued for the code as a member of fundamental rights of the committee. Under the leadership of Jawahar Lal Nehru congress party was in favour of uniform civil code.

Law minister Dr. B.R. Ambedkar found that the orthodox Hindu laws were supportive of women rights. Monogamy, divorce, and widows right to inherit property were present in the Hindu sastra. Nehru administration tried to pass Hindu code bill it wanted to introduce modern reforms.

But the bill was severely criticized. Thus, a lesser version of this bill was passed by parliament in 1956 in the form of separate acts they are Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu succession Act, Minority and guardianship act, Adoption and maintenance Act. However, this was opposed by women members it was said that Indian governments failure to form a Uniform Civil Code due to the pressure of the traditional Patriarchal society.

Cases relating to Uniform Civil Code

In course of time the conflict between secular and religious authorities over the issue of Uniform Civil Code eventually decreased. But in 1958 Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum popularly known as Shah Bano case again ignited the fire. Saha Bano was divorced by her husband Muhammad Ahmen Khan after fourth years of marriage Saha Bano moved to supreme court Supreme court seeking maintenance under section 125 of CrPC. The Supreme court game the verdict in favour of Saha Bano by applying section 125 using criminal code. This code is applied to all the citizen irrespective of religion.

Chief Justice Y.V. Chandrachud observed that the common civil code would help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law. So, the supreme court directed the parliament to form uniform civil code. But Rajiv Gandhi government was not satisfied with the supreme court's verdict. Instead of supporting it the government enacted the Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) act, 1986 to nullify the supreme court judgement and let the Muslim personal was to prevail in the matter of divorce.

In Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India this is the second time that the Supreme Court has again instructed the administration in accordance with Article 44. In this case, the issue at hand was whether a Hindu spouse who had previously been wed under Hindu law may now legally consummate a second marriage by converting to Islam.

According to the Supreme Court, it is against the law to convert to Islam in order to enter a second marriage. Furthermore, it was said that a Hindu marriage might be dissolved under the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955; hence, changing to Islam and then remarrying would not be sufficient to dissolve the marriage under Hindu Marriage Law and would constitute a crime under Section 494 of the Indian Penal Code.

Dealing with indigenous people

Importance must be given to indigenous people of India. The constitute nine percent of the population. They are distributed into three religious categories those are Christians, Hinduised tribes and followers of the tribal religions. Tribal communities have their own customary laws which are yet to be codified. Their civil laws and criminal laws are interwoven with their life. So, ample space must be given to indigenous people in Uniform Civil Code.

Dealing with Muslim Communities

We generally feel that Indian Muslim community is against uniform civil code. But it is clear that they are not dogmatically attached to Islamic laws. They are aware that in Pakistan General Ayub Khan introduced path breaking personal laws reforms through the Muslim family law ordinance. These modern set of laws replaced Sharia based practices. So, a conducive political climate should be provided to Indian Muslims where they could feel secure about their cultural and social identity.

Uniform Civil Code in Goa

Goa is the only state in India which as a uniform civil code. Goa has a common family law. Hindus, Muslims, Christians all are bound to same law related to marriage, divorce, and succession. In 1961 Goa became a union territory of India by virtue of Goa, Daman, Diu administration act 1962 the Parliament authorized the Portuguese civil code of 1867 to Goa and shall be amended and repealed by the competent legislature.

Positive and Negative aspects:

Positive aspects of the uniform civil code are:
  • Giving all citizens equal rights regardless of their gender, class, caste, or religion.
  • To advance female equality. UCC will equalise the treatment of men and women.
  • To take into account the aspirations of the young people and to make the most of their potential for nation-building.
  • Before the law, all people of India are on an equal footing. So, all people are subject to the same criminal laws and other civil laws, with the exception of personal laws. UCC is therefore required to advance national integration.
  • To avoid the problem of updating current personal laws.

Negative Aspects Of Uniform Civil Code:
  • It is difficult to establish a common and uniform set of rules throughout India because of its variety, but our government is working to do so.
  • Many groups, especially minority groups, believe that the Uniform Civil Code infringes on their right to religious liberty.
  • State intervention in private affairs. As the right to practise any religion is guaranteed by the constitution. However, the breadth of religious freedom may be constrained by the formulation of uniform laws and their imposition.
It's a delicate and difficult task, but not impossible, to bring UCC

Now it is the right time to go for Uniform civil code which would protect the fundamental and constitutional rights of the citizens irrespective of their religion. Uniform civil code would strengthen secularism and national integration.

Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi said "I do not expect India of my dreams to develop one religion, to be wholly Christian or wholly Mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant with its religions working side by side with one another"

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly