Guwahati: Assam will be the third state after Uttarakhand and Gujarat to introduce a Bill seeking a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and it will exempt the tribal communities from the ambit of the law, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said here on Thursday.
A UCC means having a common law for all citizens of the country that is not based on religion. Personal laws and laws related to inheritance, adoption and succession are to be covered by a common code.
‘We are waiting for the Uttarakhand Bill on UCC and after it is introduced, Assam will follow it with certain additional clauses,’ the chief minister said at a press conference here.
The Assam model will have certain innovative points as the state is fighting against child marriage and polygamy, he said.
The Bill will, however, exempt the tribal communities from its ambit, Sarma said.
‘We will go through the Uttarakhand Bill and see if public consultations will be possible within the next two to three months,’ he said.
If, however, certain complications arise, the matter will be discussed with experts and the Bill will be framed accordingly, Sarma added.
‘Everything depends on Bills passed by Uttarakhand and Gujarat, but Assam will definitely be the third state to bring a bill on the UCC,’ he said.
The chief minister also said that the state government was planning to bring a Bill to end polygamy in the state in the budget session of the assembly which will commence next month.
An expert committee had submitted a report on the assembly’s competence to end polygamy, following which 150 suggestions were received regarding the proposed Bill to end the social menace in the state.
Sarma had earlier said that his government was in support of the UCC but wanted to ban polygamy immediately in the BJP-ruled state.
Though the UCC is a matter which will be decided by the Parliament, a state can also take a call on that with the assent of the President.
The Lok Sabha polls are due within a few months. Implementation of a UCC has been part of the BJP’s election manifestos.