WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A UNIFORM CIVIL CODE?
In this context, a uniform civil code refers to a single law that applies to all Indian citizens in personal concerns including marriage, divorce, custody, adoption, and inheritance.
Its goal is to replace the current system of disjointed personal rules that govern interpersonal relationships and associated matters within religious groupings.
“The state shall seek to provide for the citizens a uniform civil code across the territory of India,” says Article 44 of the Indian Constitution. In view of Article 44 of the Indian constitution, it is sometimes questioned if it is not past time for India to adopt a uniform civil code. Personal laws are civil laws that deal with issues like marriage, divorce, custody, adoption, and inheritance, among others. The article, as one of the state’s directive principles, should be “enjoyed” rather than “pressed” onto any society or communities. However, many important concerns must be answered before such a code may become a reality.
A civil code that is consistent is required.
Almost every country on the planet has a civil code that applies to all of its residents. The fundamental goal of developing an universal civil code is to eliminate religious discrimination. Almost every religion’s personal law has been used to oppress women, with the majority of cases using religious and societal responsibilities as justifications. Gender discrimination has always been exacerbated by personal laws. The constitution’s promise of a uniform civil code has become a highly sensitive and contentious issue that has always been communalized by those with vested interests.
How has the Supreme Court dealt with the UCC issue?
Since its decision in the Shah Bano Case in 1985, the Supreme Court has focused on the UCC in numerous of its decisions. In several of these cases, the court favoured a common law system for all citizens and reminded Parliament of Article 44’s spirit. The Supreme Court, on the other hand, stayed within its constitutional bounds by refusing to provide any positive directives to the administration in this regard, emphasising that lawmaking is solely the province of Parliament.
Suggestions for Implementing a Uniform Civil Code include the following:
The following ideas must be considered immediately in order to achieve the DPSP’s goals and maintain legal uniformity:
• People should be encouraged to have a progressive and open-minded mindset in order to grasp the spirit of the UCC. •Education, awareness, and sensitization programmes must be implemented to achieve this.
• The Uniform Civil Code should be written with the greatest interests of all religions in mind.
• To maintain uniformity, a committee of distinguished jurists should be formed, and care must be taken not to offend the feelings of any particular group.
• Given the sensitivity of the subject, it is always preferable if the initiative comes from the religious groups involved.
Article 44 of the Indian Constitution mandates that the state ensure a Uniform Civil Code for all Indian nationals across the country’s territory. As previously said, India is a unique blend and fusion of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Parsi codified personal laws.
However, there is no unified family-related law for all Indians in a single legislative book that is acceptable to all religious communities that coexist in India. The issue is not one of minority protection or even national unity; rather, it is one of treating each human being with the respect that he or she deserves, something that personal laws have failed to do thus far.