Goa is the only Indian state to have a UCC (uniform civil code) in the form
of common family law. The Portuguese Civil Code that remains in force even today
was introduced in the 19th century in Goa and wasn’t replaced after its
The Uniform Civil Code in Goa is a progressive law that allows equal division of
income and property between husband and wife and also between children
(regardless of gender).Every birth, marriage and death have to be compulsorily
registered. For divorce, there are several provisions.
Muslims who have their marriages registered in Goa cannot practice polygamy or
divorce through triple talaq. During the course of a marriage, all the property
and wealth owned or acquired by each spouse is commonly held by the couple. Each
spouse in case of divorce is entitled to half of the property and in case of
death, the ownership of the property is halved for the surviving member. The
parents cannot disinherit their children entirely. At least half of their
property has to be passed on to the children. This inherited property must be
shared equally among the children.
However, the code has certain drawbacks and is not strictly a uniform code. For
example, Hindu men have the right to bigamy under specific circumstances
mentioned in Codes of Usages and Customs of Gentile Hindus of Goa (if the wife
fails to deliver a child by the age of 25, or if she fails to deliver a male
child by the age of 30). For other communities, the law prohibits polygamy. Goa
is the only state in India that has uniform civil code regardless of religion,
gender, caste. Goa has a common family law. Thus Goa is the only Indian state
that has a uniform civil code.
Recently, the Supreme Court in a case concerning the question of whether
succession and inheritance of a Goan domicile is governed by the Portuguese
Civil Code, 1867 or the Indian Succession Act of 1925, held that the
Constitution in Article 44 requires the State to strive to secure for its
citizens a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) throughout India, but till date, no action
has been taken in this regard.
Secondly, The Hindu personal laws were codified in the year 1956. However, there
has been no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens of
Thirdly, Despite exhortations of this Court in the case of Shah Bano in 1985,
the government has done nothing to bring the Uniform Civil Code.
Fourthly, The Supreme Court hailed the State of Goa as a “shining example
where “uniform civil code”
is applicable to all, regardless of religion
except while protecting certain limited rights.
Goa has a common civil code called Portuguese civil code 1867, where by a Muslim
man whose marriage is registered in the State cannot practice polygamy and
married couple share property equally, pre-nuptial agreements are the order of
the day and assets are divided equally between the man and woman on divorce.
Uniform Civil Code seeks to replace personal laws based on the scriptures and
customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules
governing every citizen. Status of Personal Law in India subjects like marriage,
divorce, inheritance come under Concurrent list. Hindu personal laws have been
by and large secularized and modernized by statutory enactments. The Hindu
personal laws (that apply also to the Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) have been
codified by the Parliament in 1956 .
This Code Bill has been split into four parts:
- The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955,
- The Hindu Succession Act, 1956,
- The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956,
- The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
On the other hand, Muslim personal laws are still primarily unmodified and
traditional in their content and approach. The Shariat law of 1937 governs the
personal matters of all Indian Muslims in India. It clearly states that in
matters of personal disputes, the State shall not interfere and a religious
authority would pass a declaration based on his interpretations of the Quran and
the Hadith. Apart from it, Christians and Jews are also governed by different
Different personal laws promote communalism and it leads to discrimination at
- Between people of different religions.
- Between the two sexes.
Uniform Civil Code will provide women with the right to equality and justice
in courts of law- irrespective of their religion in matters pertaining to
marriage, divorce, maintenance, custody of children, inheritance rights,
adoption, etc. The Supreme Court for the first time directed the Parliament to
frame a UCC in the year 1985 in the case of Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano
, popularly known as the Shah Bano case. In this case, Shah Bano
claimed for maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure after she was given triple talaq by him.
However, government overturned the Shah Bano case decision by way of Muslim
Women (Right to Protection on Divorce) Act, 1986 which curtailed the right of a
Muslim woman for maintenance under Section 125 of the Code of criminal
Procedure. The Supreme Court in Shayara Bano case
(2(2017) had declared
the practice of Triple Talaq (talaq-e-bidat) as unconstitutional.
The special marriage acts all Muslim community people to marry under it. Under
this act polygamy was illegal and the system of succession would be governed by
Indian succession act even the system of divorced is also governed by this law.
But for divorce there are certain provisions that are followed in Goa. Muslim
community people that have register their marriage in Goa cannot take more than
one wife according to this act and during the marriage time period all the
property and wealth owned by the couple each spouse have right in the property
the share half –half of the property and if spouse dies the half share of the
property were goes to the other.
And the other half property was divided between the children. In Goa Hindu,
Muslim, Christians all are bound with the same law related to marriage, divorce,
succession. When the Goa became the part of union territory in 1961 by the
virtue of the Goa Daman and 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.
In Goa marriages is a contract between two people of different sex with the
purpose of living together and constitute the legitimate family which is
register before the office of civil registrar. And the particular rules and
regulation has to be followed by the parties after that they can live together
and start their life but there are certain restrictions according to which these
categories of person are prohibited to perform marriage for example: any spouse
convicted of committing or abetting the murder of other spouse shall not marry.
Shah Bano case (1985):
A 73-year-old woman called Shah Bano was divorced by her husband using triple
talaq (saying I divorce thee
three times) and was denied maintenance. She
approached the courts and the District Court and the High Court ruled in her
favour. This led to her husband appealing to the Supreme Court saying that he
had fulfilled all his obligations under Islamic law.
The Supreme Court ruled in her favour in 1985 under the maintenance of wives,
children and parents
provision (Section 125) of the All India Criminal Code,
which applied to all citizens irrespective of religion. Further, it recommended
that a uniform civil code be set up.
Facts about the case:
- Under Muslim personal law, maintenance was to be paid only till the
period of iddat. (Three lunar months-roughly 90 days).
- Section 125 of Cr.PC (criminal procedure code) that applied to all
citizens, provided for maintenance of the wife.
Impact – After this historic decision, nationwide discussions, meetings and
agitations were held. The then government under pressure passed The Muslim
Women’s (Right to protection on divorce) Act (MWA) in 1986, which made Section
125 of the Criminal Procedure Code inapplicable to Muslim women.
Daniel Latifi Case:
Muslim Women’s Act (MWA) was challenged on the grounds that it violated the
right to equality under Articles 14& 15 as well as the right to life under
Article 21. The Supreme Court while holding the law as constitutional harmonized
it with section 125 of Cr.PC and held that the amount received by a wife during
iddat period should be large enough to maintain her during iddat as well as
provide for her future. Thus under the law of the land, a divorced Muslim woman
is entitled to the provision of maintenance for a lifetime or until she is
Sarla Mudgal Case:
In this case, the question was whether a Hindu husband married under the Hindu
law, by embracing Islam, can solemnise a second marriage. The court held that
the Hindu marriage solemnized under Hindu law can only be dissolved on any of
the grounds specified under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. Conversion to Islam and
marrying again, would not by itself dissolve the Hindu marriage under the act
and thus, a second marriage solemnized after converting to Islam would be an
offence under section 494 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
John Vallamattom Case:
In this case, a priest from Kerala, John Vallamattom challenged the
Constitutional validity of Section 118 of the Indian Succession Act, which is
applicable for non-Hindus in India. Mr Vallamatton contended that Section 118 of
the act was discriminatory against Christians as it imposes unreasonable
restrictions on their donation of property for religious or charitable purposes
by will. The bench struck down the section as unconstitutional.
According to me uniform civil code should not be imposed in India. As adopted by
the Goa. The main reason behind why the uniform civil code should not be imposed
is the family laws of India is basically depends upon the religious and customs
.all the people believe in their religion and customs they thinks that whatever
is there in their religion and mentioned in the personal law is right and should
be enforced in their community and some people thinks their law, their customs,
their traditions are right and some might think in the opposite direction.
For that community who thinks that tradition or customs is wrong according to
them it is a violation of fundamental right “as freedom of conscience, practice
propagation of religion” guaranteed under article 25 of Indian constitution. In
India everyone thinks that his/her customs are best and no one wants to reform
their customs and mixing of religion customs give birth to politics and social
Most of the community be it Hindu, Christian, Muslims they are not ready to
adopt secular laws separate religion customs and also it is not morally right to
enforce one group customs on the other group. So according to my point of view
uniform cavil code should not be imposed in India it will give birth to riots
and so many people fundamental rights will be violated.
The ideal of uniform civil code for all India is regarded as eminently foster to
give the idea of national unity and integrity and argued the motto of “one
citizen one law”. But this remained a problem because as we live in a democratic
country where different caste people use to live and they have their personal
law If we impose a uniform law on all citizen of India than.
It might violate the fundamental right of citizen and as might think the law is
right and some might think the law is not right than it will infringe the right
of that person. For example as according to Hindu law more than marriage is
illegal but according to Muslim law it is correct so here the question of
discrimination and violation of one’s personal right arise. So we cannot impose
such type of laws which violates the right of other community people.