Will Uttarakhand become the second state with a uniform civil code (UCC) as a
result of the declaration made by the newly elected chief minister Pushkar Singh
Dhami regarding its implementation? The Uttarakhand government formed a
committee consisting of five members, led by a retired Justice Ranjana Desai
that will prepare a report on all relevant laws governing personal matters for
This committee has launched a web portal to solicit public suggestions, and it
has recently begun a tour of Uttarakhand to meet with locals to discuss issues
such as marriage, divorce, adoption, and property rights, among others, and
prepare a report.
What is the UCC?
UCC would provide a single law for the entire nation. To put it more succinctly,
we can say that the UCC applies the same law to the entire community regarding
property rights and marriage, divorce, and adoption. It is mentioned in article
44 of the Indian constitution which reads as:
"The state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code
throughout the territory of India."
This article finds its mention in Part IV of the constitution which talks about
Directive Principles of State Policies (DPSP), which are unenforceable in any
court under Article 37. This is the reason why the UCC is not implemented in
India, despite the fact that it is mentioned in the Constitution. Goa is the
only state that has implemented UCC at this time.
In 1835, a report from British India emphasized the need for uniform
codification of Indian criminal, evidence, and contract law, specifically
recommending that Hindu and Muslim personal laws not be codified. As a result,
in 1941, the BN Rao committee was established to codify Hindu law.
The Hindu succession act of 1956, which codified and amended the law governing
intestate or unwilled succession among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs, was
enacted in response to the recommendations of this committee. However, Muslims,
Christians, and Parsis each had their own personal laws.
Numerous SC decisions regarding UCC
- In the Shah Bano case, a woman's husband divorced her and denied her
maintenance. The Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1985 under the 'All
India Criminal Code's maintenance of wives, children, and parents'
provision, which applied to all citizens regardless of their religion and
recommended implementing UCC.
- In the Sarla Mudgal case, a husband had married twice after changing his
religion from Hinduism to Islam. So his first wife went to the court. The
Supreme Court ruled in her favor and urged the government to create a
uniform civil code.
- In the case of Shayara Bano, a Muslim man divorced his wife by saying
the word "Talaq" three times. Through this case, 'talaq-e-biddat' was
declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. This is without a doubt a
step toward equality and laid the groundwork for future personal law
At the end we can conclude that evolution is needed to emerge a UCC while
preserving India's legal heritage, which include all personal laws equally. It
is also possible that expected equality between religion and genders won't be
realized as a result of the UCC's implementation because of the conflicting
opinions of the people.
Communities have to take initiative for the reforms in current personal laws.
For this change, existing institutions must be modernized, strengthened and
democratized. Genuine efforts must be made toward women empowerment for all
women regardless of religion.
However there are many conflicting views on implementation of UCC. So here's an
open question for you all Do you think that implementation of UCC in
Uttarakhand is a step towards equality?