Regarding the adoption of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a significant announcement. The guidelines were given out in Article 44 of the Constitution’s Part IV, which deals with the Directive Principles of State Policy, and were backed by Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the constitution’s founding father. This article directs the State to make efforts to provide its citizens with a UCC. The Central Government was urged by the Allahabad High Court to move quickly with the Uniform Civil Code.
Why is Uniform Civil Code required for a Fair and Inclusive Society ?
Personal laws govern matters such as marriage, divorce, child custody, support, guardianship, succession, joint families, and other family structures. These can be generically categorized as “family laws.” This means that both the second largest majority group, the Muslims, and the Hindus, who make up the majority community, have different family laws. Jews, Parsis, and Christians are smaller minority groups that each have their own unique family laws. As enshrined in our Constitution the Uniform Civil Code envisions to provide a common legal framework that treats all citizens equally, irrespective of their religious affiliations, and promotes the principles of equality and non-discrimination.
Seeking Stakeholder Perspectives for an Inclusive Legal Framework
The Law Commission of India is reassessing the need for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and soliciting input from a variety of stakeholders, including the general public and religious organizations, to speed up the process. The Uttarakhand government has appointed a drafting committee to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), making it the second state after Goa to do so. Several countries, particularly neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan, have already implemented UCC.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s declaration about a Uniform Civil Code has sparked outrage from the opposition and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).The All India Muslim Personal Law Board believes that a uniform civil code is unneeded, impracticable, and exceedingly damaging to India’s diverse country. For long these personal laws have lead lead to unequal treatment, particularly with regards to women’s rights.
Seeking Equality and Justice: Empowering Muslim Women through a Uniform Civil Code
The Narendra Modi government passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act in 2019, which outlawed instant Triple Talaq available to Indian Muslim men illegal. The Uniform Civil Code will further help to protect the rights of Muslim Women.
The Muslim women in India still have to suffer unilateral extra judicial talaq through ‘Talaq-e-Hasan’ which is pronounced once a month over a period of three months.
Muslim women in India are still subjected to unilateral extrajudicial talaq via ‘Talaq-e-Hasan,’ which is declared once a month for three months.
Muslim Personal Law’s inheritance regulations give men a larger part of the inheritance. The women’s part of the husband’s property is one-eighth, and if no children are present, the share is one-fourth.
Child marriage is common among Muslims because Islam has no age limit for marriage and the same is determined by puberty.
Muslim women do not have the right to choose their life partner, and her consent is not taken into account.
Muslim women are not permitted to marry again, although Muslim men are permitted to marry up to four times.
Muslim women are not entitled to support from their husbands, and a divorced woman cannot remarry him unless she marries another person and has a sexual relationship with him, after which he divorces her.
The gender disparity experienced by Muslim women necessitates the immediate adoption of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to promote equality and justice for all people. According to reports, the bill will be tabled on August 5th in the upcoming session of parliament after weighing all different perspectives and in unanimity of all stakeholders involved.