Law Panel says ‘NO’ to NDA’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

The Law Commission says UCC was “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”

Law Panel says ‘NO’ to NDA’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC)
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New Delhi: While ruling party’s demand to bring Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in a secular country like India which has diverse religions, cultures that has been co-existing in harmony since the nation’s formation, the law commission does not agree to the BJP’s UCC’s demand for all communities, religions in India.

Rather the law commission suggested amendments in the existing family laws and personal laws was necessary instead of forcing UCC on all communities, TOI reported.

The commission said this is the only best way to preserve diversity of personal laws even while ensuring they didn’t contradict fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Issues like ‘child marriages’ which are still practiced across the nation, ‘no fault’ divorce in a marriage, a uniform age of marriage, adultery should be dealt with changes in order to end such social evil practices.

The law commission has called for amendments in existing family laws and codification in aspects of personal law that aim for gender equality “within communities” rather than forcing all communities to follow a single code which no longer gives them freedom to practice their religion.

The commission’s suggestions comes in 185 pages, where the commission has clearly sought to strike a balance between freedom of religion and right to equality, arguing that while women must be guaranteed religious rights, there should be no compromise on equality.

The commission said the long waited UCC was “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage” but it did take note of underlying social evil practises like Sati, slavery, devdasi, dowry, triple talaq and child marriage which have taken established themsleves with the societies customs.

Speaking of Adultery, the commission said it should be made a ground for divorce under Muslim law, while men and women should have the same age of marriage.

It also added that nikahnamas should ban polygamy, adults of either gender should be allowed to adopt children and children born out of wedlock must be given inheritance rights.

The commission said the best way forward was to preserve diversity of personal laws even while ensuring they didn’t contradict fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

The NDA government wanted to forcibly implement UCC but later sought its recommendations by referring it to the law commission in 2016 later the majority of Lok Sabha too insisted for detailed view of commission.

“This commission has dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code…” the law commissions’s consultation paper said.