Raw haste, half-sister to delay
-Lord Alfred Tennyson
The above phrase isnít an idiom, itís a line from a poem. Itís implying that
haste is like delay. Doing something too quickly, without care, and you will
have to undo the job and fix the mistakes and it will end up taking longer to
finish the job. It is advising to do it correctly the first time, even if it
seems slow. It is quicker in the long run.
In contrast to the west, India is far from a homogeneous nation-state and one of
the most varied and diverse mixes of people. India is a multi-faith and
multi-language country. India is a diverse nation and has n number of people
with different cultures, traditions, customs, and religions. However, it is at
times difficult to distribute religion-based justice due to the different codes
and personal laws. Through the idea of a UCC, which was first mooted seriously
in a Constituent Assembly, in 1947, decisive measures were therefore taken
towards national consolidation.
The problem now is that personal law has differences and discrepancies. No
uniformity is available. Also, the individual legislation has denied women's
rights or even failed to give them rights. The UCC can be implemented to address
these shortcomings. For all citizens of the country, the UCC means a uniform
personal law. This code replaces India's existing religious laws
In the Constitution of India, UCC is envisaged in Article 44, which covers every
aspect of law except matrimonial laws. The object of Article 44 is that, as and
when the majority of Parliament thinks proper, an attempt may be made to unify
the Personal laws of the country, i.e., uniformity in law in matters of
marriage, divorce, succession, irrespective of religion, community, etc.
The idea of UCC was introduced into the national political debate in 1940 when
a demand for such a code was made by the national planning committee appointed
by the Congress. The sub-committee for the Ďwomenís role in planned economyí was
specifically directed to study the role women would play in future independent
India. Under Art 44 of the Constitution of India, the state is under
constitutional obligation to make earnest efforts towards the establishment of
one civil code for all persons, yet if these provisions come in direct conflict
with provisions in Part III of the Constitution of India, then Judiciary has
been given regulatory powers, and vide power to expound the provisions and bring
into practice the basic philosophy underlying the provisions. UCC has been
maintained unmonitored long ago, which has caused anguish in India.
In Sarla Mudgal vs. Union of India:
the Personal laws of Hindus, Muslims
and, UCC were touched, and the judgement favored the enactment of UCC.
The Supreme Court held that UCC is not opposed to secularism and will not
violate Article 25 and 26. Article 44 is based on the concept that there is no
necessary connection between religion and personal law in a civilized society.
Marriage, succession, and like matters are of secular nature and, therefore law
can regulate them. No religion permits deliberate distortion.
The common civil code will cause more problems rather than providing solutions.
This is because equality is a diversified entity operating at various levels,
both individuals and groups. Thus, the fundamental issues which UCC is trying to
resolve will become serious problems rather than diminishing.
Chapter I: UCC: a blend of personal laws or a new law
In most personal matterís women are inferior compared to males, particularly
where the issue of marriage or the subject of succession, adoption, or even
heritage is discussed. Explicitly, according to the Hindu Law, the Hindu women,
in the years 1955 and 1996, had no equal rights with the Hindu men. Polygamy
among the Hindus were predominant before 1955. Except for Stridhan, the Hindu
women could not hold property as the absolute owner.
She had only limited property, which the male proprietor called revisionary on
her death was passed to the legal final full heirs. She had a limited interest
in that she could not do so alone whenever a matter arose concerning desertion
and the mortgage or sale of the property.
Hence it is penury that it has not been plausible to totally uproot gender
inequality through the encroachment of Hindus personal legislation. In
pre-Islamic Arabia, women have been given secondary status when talking about
Muslim law, because she has been a patriarch since then. Since then women have
been regarded as male secondary. The ubiquity of Islam has contributed a great
deal to Muslim women's deterioration and escalation. The Holy Quran gives men
and women equal rights and puts women in an honorable position. But in Islam,
certain aspects make Muslim women's positions especially uncertain and inferior
In Islam, a man can marry four times while women are not able to marry and are
treated unharmed and unclean if they do. Women are not even entitled to divorce
their husbands when the husband is very discriminatory in his divorce method by
pronouncing three-fold Talaq. This is inspired by the Holy Quran message. This
was held void and recently in the high court ruling of Allahabad unlawful. The
legal stance is that if the property of the deceased is bequeathed by two
intellectuals or residue of the opposite sex but with the same degree, the
Muslim husband is double the part of the woman. The Muslim wife is not required
to be maintained after Iddat, even in the matter of maintenance.
However, there is controversy over Muslim men following this provision and the
Criminal Procedure Code, which requires the husband to keep his wife and
divorced wife until she maintains herself, is a secular law and applies to all
people. The controversy started, and the Parliament passed the Muslim Women's
Act of 1986 to reverse the Shah Bano judgment.
The effect of this Act is that if both spouses do not submit to court at a
suitable time that they would like to be governed by the Criminal Process Code a
Muslim husband is not liable to keep his divorced wife after the iddat period.
The idea is, but not for the sake of protecting the area of personal law, to
provide the suffering woman no enough justice.
Chapter II: Is UCC violative of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution
The key problem is that if the Constitutionalists had desired for the
implementation in Indian of a uniform civil code, they would not have had to
include it as part of the DPSPs under Article 44 of the Constitution. As the
name implies are mere instructions to the State, the State Principles of State
Policy contained in Part IV (Art. 36-51). They are also not compulsory, and the
Court cannot enforce them.
India is a secular, democrat, republic, the preamble to the Indian constitution
says clearly. There is no state religion, that means. Nobody is discriminated
against based on religion by a secular state. The only concern of religion is
the relationship between man and God. It means that religion should not
interfere with a person's worldly life. The secularization process is closely
related to the objective of a uniform civil code as a cause and effect.
In the case of S.R. Bommai v. Union of India
, as per the Justice Jeevan
Reddy, it was held that religion is the matter of individual faith and cannot
be mixed with secular activities and can be regulated by the State by enacting a
For obvious reasons, an individual's personal law practice or tradition may be
acceptable but may not be acceptable to persons of other personal laws on the
other hand. When traditions come into practice, then the nature of the conflict
turns out to be a fervent ill-feeling in general differences. People find it
hard to accept or adapt to certain changes and in a society like India where
religion defines the way of life, people relate to their religion instead of
understanding that human beings are the religion and human beings are not
An important issue was what the ingredients of the Uniform Civil Code would be
in bringing together personal laws. As the personal laws of each religion
contain distinct provisions, their unification will not only cause resentment,
but also social animosity towards each other. Thus, in the UCC, laws which
strike an equilibrium between the protection of fundamental rights and the
religious principles of the individual communities within the country will have
to be adopted. Potential problems such as marriage, divorce, maintenance, etc.
can be secular and can be regulated by law.
The UCC does not simply involve gender equality, but also how a nation takes its
own diversity into account. It is also clear that the UCC does not infringe
under Articles 25 and 26. It should be a new law instead of the variation of
individual laws. The problem with the combination of personal legislation is
that there is every likelihood of prejudice. The two different concepts are
religion and law. That is because it enables people, despite the adoption of a
uniform code, to follow their religion. The uniform code will not restrict their
right to follow their religion or profess it anywhere.
Chapter III: The Utility of uniformity of Laws
From the point of view of national identity, the UCC appears unpleasant, but in
terms of gender equality in personal law, the result is contrary. So, the
questions that arise currently are: is the implementation of a UCC going to help
to ensure that women have the same status in Indian societies? How will UCC
influences the national consolidation and unity process? Regarding the efficacy
of UCC in gender justice in personal legislation.
Flavia Agnes provides a satisfactory solution while taking into consideration
the plight of Hindu women after the codification of Hindu personal laws.
The lessons learned in the last 60 years is that uniformity has not worked. It
has also had a disastrous impact on the rights of Hindu women. Rather than
excluding women from the realm of rights, we need to adopt an inclusive
approachÖ so that women at the margins are not deprived of their right to a life
with dignity and sustenance by adopting moralistic principles that are alien to
the cultural ethos and customary practices. Rather than uniformity, what women
need are an accessible and affordable justice delivery system and inclusive
models of development that will help to eliminate their poverty and destitution
and help to build an egalitarian world.
It shows that consistency has not helped the position of women in Hindu society
very much. It would not be false to assume from this analogy that it is the same
for women as a country group. Therefore, the search for common legislation for
all to foster national identity is only a valid basis for pushing the UCC
application. It is quite clear that religious minorities will never accept this
because it endangers their distinct religious identities. Furthermore, forging
UCC to achieve a common Indian identity would add to the dissatisfaction of
religious minorities and would thus damage national unity and peace.
Historically, deep diversity has marked the arena of personal laws in India. The
reason was that the different religious groups in the country were governed by
different laws. The regional customs and traditions were further reinforced.
The multitude of laws, therefore, prevailed not only among different religious
groups but among a homogenous religious group.
The Hindi divorce law was progressive, equalitarian, and liberal following the
passage in 1955 of the Hindu marriage laws and its amendment in 1976. The Parsi
divorce law in 1988 made similar reforms. However, this Act only applied to the
people who had solemnized their marriage under the provisions of the Act itself,
because both men and women could seek divorce.
The provisions of the Act could not, therefore, apply to marriages under
religious personal law.
Women had the right, both by religious personal laws and the dissolution of
Muslim marriage laws of 1939, to seek the dissolution of marriage. Thus, it was
Indian Christians who were the only religious body whose divorce law was
reformed because Christian wives were not allowed to go out in unhappy marriage
easier than other religious groups 'own personal laws. Women had the right, both
by religious personal laws and the dissolution of Muslim marriage laws of 1939,
to seek the dissolution of marriage. 
Thus, it was Indian Christians who were the only religious body whose divorce
law was reformed because Christian wives were not allowed to go out in unhappy
marriage easier than other religious groups 'own personal laws. In this respect,
the mental anguish of Christian women was even worse.
In Kerala High Court judgment of Mary Sonia Zacharia v. Union of
India particularly to protect the interest of Christian women and to bring them
to par with women of other religious groups, in 2001 the Indian House amended
the Act of Indian Divorce. There were ten reasons for divorce by a Christian
wife. In addition to these reasons, a Christian woman can seek divorce if she
can prove that, "a husband has been guilty of rape, sodomy, and bestiality since
the solemnization of the marriage." 
Therefore, what the amendments have done is that the Christian laws on divorce
have been following the personal laws of other religious groups in the country.
The suppression of or assimilation of these several legalizing traditions into
the mainstream legal tradition does not just threaten national unity and
constitutes a free legislative application of the colonial attitude to the
suppression or causation of these many legal traditions. There are many legal
traditions at different levels in various parts of the country.
India has successfully reached a certain degree of constitutionalism, unlike the
others in South Asia, and is only second only to the United States of America in
respect to constitutional endurance. It is because not only Indians but also
the Indian declaration of independence has succeeded in creating a
self-identity. The fact is that the Indian constitution has largely decided to
seek not only to resonate with the country's pluralistic socio- ethos, but also
to integrate them by giving them room for operation under the constitutional
Therefore, it is not desirable to achieve a common Indian identity utilizing the
UCC, for the Indian identity itself is plural and a synthesis of the differing
views of each Indian citizen combined. The idea for the common Indian
identity through the UCC is undesirable.
Chapter IV: Challenging Aspects of the UCC
Mohd. Ahmad Khan vs. Shah Bano Begum
- Indiaís commitment to Human Rights: Constitution guarantees and
International Human Rights Conventions
Personal religious law needs to be studied from the standpoint of human
rights. The preamble of the Constitution, which are the subject of debate on
Indians' personal law, enshrines the main aspects of equality,
non-discrimination, and fairness, which are an essential element of human
right discovery. Therefore we see that the State is empowered by Article
15(3) of the Constitution to make particular provisions for women and
children 's protection. Article 25(2) mandates that the right to religious
freedom, regardless of the right, maybe provided for social reform and
- Uniform Civil Code- Judicial Approach
The judiciary has always tried to narrow the gap between the general
provision of law and the personal law. It is crystal clear from Bhagwan
Dutt v. Smt. Kamala Dev, wherein the apex court ignored the personal law
and stressed that provisions under Criminal Procedure Code must be made
applicable to all irrespective of their religious beliefs.
Bombay State vs Narasuappa Mali:
The Bombayís High Court held that the Bombay Prevention for
Hindu Bigamous Marriages of 1946 was intra vires to the constitution because
it violated Article 25 and permitted classification in religious terms. The
Bombay Bigamous Law was amended on the grounds of breach of Articles 14, 15
and 25 of the Constitution.
In this case, the Court held that it was inadequate to state in a text-book
statement that Muslim husband is in not having to provide the maintenance of the
divorced wife, who was not able to sustain her.
Makku Rawtherís Children vs. Manapara Charayil:
Justice Krishna Iyer clearly stated that personal law provisions should always
follow Constitutional provisions. In the light of the constitutional mandate,
the function of the judiciary is to confine the words of personal law over time.
There is a great time now in the light of the philosophy set out in Article 44
to read personal laws.
So when all provisions of any personal law, in the name of being infringing
fundamental rights, were challenged in their own right, the court exercised its
control and left the case to the legislature's wisdom.
This unique aspect of the debate on the UCC reminds people time and time again
to adapt and adapt to the present times in their personal laws, drawing
inspirations from other communities which are, in some respects, more
progressive. All of this is a long and painful process, but no undue haste will
fail rather than the desired result. It should never be forgotten.
In the case of somebody who asks us about the desirability of the Uniform Civil
Code, I firmly believe that the Uniform Civil Code is not required, and this
opinion is based on a few reasons which are given below:
Firstly, we wish to say that, if the Uniform Civil Code is enacted and enforced,
there is a high probability of killing and riots like these are again occurring
and leading to the country's disintegration.
Secondly, there will be no difference between the Uniform Civil Code and
personal laws, since the Uniform Civil Code will have a set standard, which
furthermore will not be able to encompass each aspect of personal law and will
lead to even more difficulties than we do today.
Thirdly, the issue of the Uniform civil code, which legislation will prevail
over the others, creates a major problem for the country.
Fourthly, although the law is being applied, the people of the country will not
accept the law and the reason for that is the country's diversity. Various
people differ and believe, and in India is not simply a way of life when it
comes to religion but is regarded as something supreme and above all and in such
situations, it is a call to people's destruction and a common standard in
Fifthly, if the people do not accept the code, then for whom the code is
produced. It cannot be justified to make and keep legislation in the sense and
if only, then personal laws are also available for documentation.
It is simple to say that we'll introduce into the Uniform Civil Code, but an
important question that arises is that none saw a temple and a mosque side by
side, whereas it is possible to see the Temple, Gurudwara, and the church.
I myself, therefore, feel that there is no need for a uniform civil code
codification and that the only need for the hour is to modify personal
- Lord Alfred Tennyson in his poem Love Thou Thy Land, With Love Far
Brought, first published in 1842.
- Sarla Mudgal vs. Union of India, AIR 1995 SC 1531.
- 1985 SCR (3) 844.
- Hazarika, Raya. Should India Have a Uniform Civil Code? SSRN
Electronic Journal, 2010.
- Flavia Agnes, Liberating Hindu Women 10(50) Economic & Political
Weekly 15 (2015).
- See Pandurang Vaman Kane, 2 History of Dharmaķ‚stra (Bhandarkar Oriental
Research Institute, Poona, 1941)
- Agnes, Flavia. The Supreme Court, the Media, and the Uniform Civil Code
Debate in India. The Crisis of Secularism in India, 2006, pp. 294Ė315.
- Homogenous religious groups such as Hindus and Muslims in the country
were governed by different rules with respect to the issues which fell under
the domain of personal laws. This.difference was owing to regional customs
- 1995(1) KLT 644 (FB).
- Similarly, several other uniformities have been brought about by the
legislative interference in the realm of personal laws in the country. For
example, the succession laws of Hindus and Muslims appear similar to each
other after the passage of Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005. Similar
is the case with laws relating to maintenance. See Werner Menski, Uniform
Civil Code Debate in Indian Law: New Developments and Changing Agenda 9(3)
German Law Journal 211 (2008).
- See Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsbirg et.al., The Endurance of National
Constitutions (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009).
- See Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn, Constitutional Identity in Sujit Choudhry,
Madhav Khosla et.al., (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution
(Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2016).
- See Bhikhu Parekh, The Constitution as a Statement of Indian Identity
in Rajeev Bhargava (ed.), Politics and Ethics of the Indian
Constitution (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2008).
- M.P Jain, Indian Constitutional Law, Paperback; (7th edition, Mar 2014).
- A Kumar, Uniform Civil Code: Challenges and Constraints, Satyam Law
International; (October 12, 2012).
- State of Bombay vs. Narasuappa Mali, AIR 1952 Bom 84, (1951) 53 BOMLR
779, ILR 1951 Bom 775.
- Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano, AIR 1985 SC 945.
- Makku Rawtherís Children vs. Manapara Charayil, AIR 1972 Ker 27; D.
Chelliah Nadar vs. G. Lalita Bai, AIR 1978 Mad 66.
- Leepakshi Rajpal, Mayank Vats, Uniform Civil Code and Its Legal
Dimensions, Quest Journals Journal of Research in Business and Management,
Volume 5 ~ Issue 2 (2017) pp: 52-57 ISSN(Online): 2347-3002