By KOMAL SINGH @LEXCLIQ
UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
Uniform civil code is a single law applicable to all citizen of India in their personal matters, such as marriage, divorce, adoption, maintenance, custody and inheritance, it is intended to replace a fragmented personal laws, which currently governs interpersonal relationships ans related matters within different religious communities.
The idea comes from Article 44 of the Constitution which is one of the d
Directives Principles of State Policy. It provides that the state shall endeavour to secure for all citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.
The vision of Uniform Civil Code is enshrined in the indian Constitution as a goal towards which the nation should strive ,but it isn’t a fundamental right or a Constitutional guarantee. One can’t approach a court to demand for UCC. But that doesn’t mean court can’t opine on the matter.
The demand for a UCC came to the fore in the judgement pronounced in Shah bano case in the year 1985 ,more than three decades after the Constitution was Drafted.
Shah bano moved Supreme Court seeking maintenance after her husband divorced her after 40 years of marriage by giving triple talaq and denied her regular maintenance. The SC bench verdict in her favour, observed:
“There is no evidence of any official activity for framing Common Civil code for the country. The common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws which have conflicting ideologies”.
In 1995 we have Sarla Mudgal case, justice kuldip Singh reiterated the need for parliament to frame a UCC. The suggestions which reflected in the verdict of other landmark case such as Jordan diengdeh vs SS Chopra and John Vallamattom vs Union of India.
Advantages of UCC:
A Uniform Civil Code in theory would bring equal status to all citizen of India Irrespective of what community they belong too.
Personal laws of different religion are divergent and is no consistency in how issues like marriage , adoption, and succession are treated for people belonging to different communities, which clashes with article 14 of the Constitution which provides equality before the law.
Reforms with personal laws have also been inconsistent .For Example multiple amendments have been brought to Hindu personal laws while Muslim laws has seen fewer changes.
Personal laws, because they derive from customs and traditions, also tend to give undue advantages to men.As the law commission has observed in its 2018 Consultation papers, as various aspects of prevailing personal laws disprivilege women. This can seen as Muslim can marry have multiple wives but women being forbidden from having multiple husband. In another example even after amendment of hindu succession act of 2005, women considered to be part of husband families after marriage. So, in case a Hindu widow dies without heirs her property will automatically go to her husband’s family. I Would conclude that present government should bring UCC as early as possible.