Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill 2024 – In yet another major legislative proposal, the Uttarakhand government is all set to introduce the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill in between February 5-8 of the state assembly’s session. The fresh proposal comes as a follow-through on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s promises made in its election campaign for the year 2022.
Formation and Working of the UCC Committee
They constituted a special committee to work on the UCC in June 2022. The committee went into an extensive public outreach. It takes pride in receiving over 200,000 written submissions and in interacting with about 20,000 people. The finality of this process will be a draft that seeks to reduce some of these issues or eliminate them, which include gender discrimination, unequal land rights ownership, and adoption laws. This document currently is in the stage before presentation in assembly called printing.
Aims of UCC Bill
The UCC Bill aims to find common ground in civil laws that cross all religious lines. This includes marriage, divorce, inheritance and also adoption. In this respect, the bill aims to promote equality and justice for all citizens of the Indian nation-state regardless of their religious affiliations by introducing uniform regulations.
Understanding the Uniform Civil Code
The Uniform Civil Code is at the core of Indian law, one of the central ideas that promotes ‘one nation, one law‘ – one system of civil laws for everyone with no consideration for religious differences. The idea isn’t new but finds its place in the Indian Constitution under Article 44, which forms part of the Directive Principles of State Policy. This article exhorts the state to endeavour to bring about a uniform code applicable throughout the country.
Figures like Jawaharlal Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar ruminated over the concept of UCC while framing the Constitution. However, they met with rigid and offensive opposition from many religious groups. Indeed, the UCC’s short time in force left much to desire in society back then, and the societal climate barely allowed for placing the UCC in an advisory role within the Directive Principles, rather than as a mandatory requirement. The framers of the Constitution had visualized a situation as part of the Directive Principles that with changing social norms it would be practically possible for uniform code across India.
The Introduction of the UCC Bill in Uttarakhand is indeed an important step towards making the vision envisaged within the given texts of the Indian Constitution come true. This is not just a legislative move but one towards the unifying of diversity of legal systems, much commensurate with the social ethos of equality and justice. As the bill moves to the assembly, it shall remain one of the prized exhibits of the social and legal tapestry that India has been weaving.
A: The Uniform Civil Code refers to a proposed set of laws that shall replace common ones guiding every citizen in all personal laws based on religious scripts.
A: The UCC is important because it seeks to confer all citizens, irrespective of their religion, with an equal status regarding personal law.
A: In personal law cases, many often quote Goa as an example where a form of UCC already exists and governs these aspects.
A: The UCC aims to standardize civil laws and does not intend to blend religious practices or beliefs. It touches only on the matter of equality in legal matters.
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