The Uniform Civil Code lays down a set of laws governing the personal affairs
of all citizens, irrespective of religion, which may require an hour and ensure
that their fundamental and constitutional rights are protected. It is the common
set of rules governing all citizens of India that refers to the replacement of
personal laws. These legislations are well established in public law and cover
marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption and maintenance.
In 1840, on the basis of the Lex Loci report, the British Government established
uniform laws for crimes, evidence and contracts, but the personal laws of Hindus
and Muslims are intentionally left to them.
In 1946, the Constituent Assembly was set up to frame our Constitution in
Independent India, which consisted of two types of members: one who was a
proponent to reform society by adopting the Uniform Civil Code, such as Dr B. R.
Ambedkar, and second those who were essentially Muslim representatives who
advocate personal laws.
The supporter of the Uniform Civil Code also opposed the minority communities in
the Constituent Assembly. As a result, only a specific point was added to the
Constitution pursuant to Article 44 of Part IV of the Directive Principles of
State Policy. As it is incorporated in the DPSP, they are not enforceable in the
Intend of Uniform Civil Code:
The Uniform Civil Code seeks to implement the same set of secular civil laws to
govern all people, including those belonging to different religions and regions.
It will waive the right of citizens to be governed by different personal laws
based on their religion or ethnicity. The Uniform Civil Code intends to apply to
the whole body of legislation governing property rights and personal matters
such as marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption and inheritance.
An Analysis of Uniform Civil Code in foreign countries:
First of all, we have to understand the different compositions of the different
countries. India is a homogeneous society of diverse content. This country has
always believed in the ideology of Unity in Diversity.
India's diversity and
tolerance stand out all over the world and is the beauty and strength of this
It would suffice to mention a few countries:Rome:
The theory of civil law is directly attributable to the Romans. The Romans used
doctrines to develop a code, precise to the Roman people, which determined how
legal issues would be decided. They termed it Jus Civile, a legal contemporary
term that upholds all the rules and principles of law derived from the laws and
customs of Rome, as opposed to those derived from the customs of all nations
known as jus gentium or from the fundamental ideas of right and wrong implicit
in the human mind, known as jus naturale.
Emperor Justinian who took over the throne in 527 CE, was responsible for this
Code. In fact, Roman law persisted in use in many other countries, even though
it had been interpreted, developed and adapted to later conditions by
generations of jurists and had gone through many judicial precedents.
In a modern sense, one of the most well-known civil codes in the world is that
of France. The Napoleon Civil Code, introduced in France as early as 1804 -
although the unification movement of existing civil law had begun more than a
decade earlier - replaced more than 300 hundred local civil law codes. It
superseded both customary law and existing legal provisions and covered a vast
area of property, commodities, usufructs, easement, succession, wills, gifts,
contracts and quasi-contracts. The French Code has sought a balance between
privilege and equality, customs and legal requirements.
United States of America:
In the United States, where the issue of diversity can be more in keeping with
Indian circumstances, there are multiple layers of legislation that apply
separately to the nation, the state and the county, or to agencies and cities.
States are independent legal entities with their own Supreme Courts, which
follow their own practises and legal conventions. Even though there are common
principles that govern these civil laws in the States in a manner that is
universal across the nation. Only issues of a federal nature or those affecting
the country as a whole, such as security, taxation, general legal issues, etc.,
are dealt with by the Federal Supreme Court.
Most countries of the Islamic faith have traditionally adopted Sharia law,
derived from religious teachings, practises and traditions, often interpreted by
qualified jurists of the faith. In the modern era, however, such legislation has
been modified or replaced by statutes inspired by European models. There is a
complex pattern in progressive Islamic countries to streamline the law without
disowning the foundations of traditional jurisprudence. In some other countries
with a rising power Islamic revival, there is a demand for the re-establishment
of legal systems based entirely on Sharia law.
As a result, Islamic countries in the world usually have a combination of civil
laws based on traditional Sharia law, and countries such as Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria, etc. are examples of this.
There are few countries in which there is no common civil law providing justice
in a fair and neutral manner. And even in this 21st century, being on a way
developing nation, India is one of the nations which lacks a Uniform Civil Code.
As we have seen in India, that there are different sets of laws governing
private or personal law for different communities, such as Shariah Law for
Muslims, Christian Law for Christians and Hindu Law for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and
Buddhists. And the nature of structured and stratified social formations,
mandated by religion and tradition that has existed for several centuries,
complicates the social fabric in more ways than can be decoded.
It can be argued that the vast diversity of social customs, the multiplicity of
social customs and traditions, the astounding variety of rituals and practices
and the presence of hundreds of caste and sub-caste, all make our country so
complex that we can even think of a universal law that encompasses these
variations, without infringing on individual freedom and the right to practise
one's chosen religion.
Since in India, the diverse canvas of these overlapping personal, social, local
and community traditions and customs makes it truly difficult to implement the
UCC. And in seeking to address the problems of all religions, the Uniform Civil
Code must ensure that a variety of personal laws, such as property, marriage,
adoption, inheritance and succession based on different religious communities,
are incorporated into a single uniform code throughout India.
Since India is an emerging and progressive country, and it is a bit
disappointing to hear that we are not bolting our attention to achieve the core
purpose of equality and secularism that we have committed to providing to our
India can be a great nation only if the same laws relating to inheritance,
marriage, family, land, etc. apply to all citizens, irrespective of caste, creed
or community. All Indians will be treated equally in this way. The age-old
religious customs and personal laws of our country are usually gender-based.
The Uniform Civil Code is an indication of a progressive modern nation. It is an
indication that the nation has moved away from caste politics and religious
politics. We as a nation, are regularly striving towards the best possible
economic growth, it might also be right to say that socially and culturally we
have degraded to a new low.
A uniform civil code will help to improve the conditions of women in India. It
will help to bring about changes in the age-old traditions that have no
relevance in today's modern society, where women should be accorded equal rights
and treated fairly. The uniform civil code in India will ensure not division on
the basis of religion but unity by creating a sense of nationality.
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