Uniform Civil Code

3 min read

News:The Supreme Court has said that the Indian government had made no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code even though the makers of the Constitution had expressed hope for such a law.

Facts:

What is uniform civil code?

  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India proposes to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen.

What the constitution says?

  • Article 44 of the Constitution says that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. 
  • According to article 44,”The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”.Since the Directive Principles are only guidelines, it is not mandatory to use them.

Why India needs a Uniform Civil Code?

  • To provide equal status to all citizens
  • To support the national integration
  • To bypass the contentious issue of reform of existing personal laws
  • Various Courts judgements that the government should move towards a uniform civil code.

Problems in the implementation of UCC

  • Practical difficulties due to diversity in India
  • Perception of UCC as encroachment on religious freedom
  • Time is not yet suitable for this reform as there is a major opposition from several communities.

Law Commission’s stand:

  • In 2018, Law Commission of India consultation paper had said that the Uniform Civil Code is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage in the country.The Commission said secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevalent in the country.

Additional information:

Uniform Civil Code in Goa:

  • Goa was a former Portuguese colony.It was annexed into the Union of India in 1961.In 1987,Goa was made a separate state.
  • The Uniform Civil code(UCC) was introduced in Goa by the erstwhile Portuguese rulers.It was retained even after the territory was merged with India in the year 1961. 
  • It is the only state in the country where uniform civil code is applicable to all regardless of religion except while protecting certain limited rights.