SHOULD UCC BE IMPLEMENTED 

                                      Riya Kore,

A student at DES Navalmal Firodia

Law College

  • Introduction:-

Is it legal for a person to marry four times? Should it be permissible to marry before the age of 18? In terms of succession and inheritance, females will receive less than half of what males will receive. Is it legal to do this? And unlike the rest of the Indian ladies, a Muslim woman cannot claim Maintenance. Why should this be acceptable? In India, all laws are applied uniformly. If I commit a murder or you commit a murder, the punishment will be the same. This is known as uniformity. There are already many uniform laws in India, the most notable of which is the Indian Constitution. There are numerous statutes in addition to the Contract Act, IPC, and CPC. Personal laws are the one exception to this homogeneity. Which differs according to religion. Currently, there are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, and Parsi personal laws in India, which generates a lot of complications.

  • What exactly is the Uniform Civil Code?

 Article 44, also known as the Uniform Civil Code, is a legislation that applies to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and Parsi’s alike discusses the introduction of a Uniform Personal Law. However, in a country like ours, where there are 110 million Hindus, Muslims Numbering 20 Million 4 million Christians and 3 million Sikhs. In such a circumstance, would it be that simple to launch a Uniform Personal Law suit? This statement is not totally correct. Because Hindus were in the majority even at the time of independence. So, in the 1950s, when new freedom was discovered, a new country was formed, a new split occurred, new diversity was created, and everything was new. Despite these difficulties, the Hindu personal code was passed in 1955. That means in 1955 The Hindu personal laws were uniformly codified. How did this happen? Because the Supreme Court currently states that “if you have to bring any laws” “then all the stakeholders there” “you should consulate with them and take feedback.” In the 1950s, however, there was no such system. So, what exactly happened in the 1950s? Elections were held. It was stated during the election that is, “If we win and come into power” “then we will pass the Hindu Code Bill.” They were victorious in the election. Winning the election was regarded as consent that the Hindu Code Bill be approved. And then there was the Hindu Code Bill. For example, the BJP’s election manifesto has also mentioned UCC numerous times. BJP has also won the election but can they take this election win as a consent to implement UCC.

  • Personal Laws in India: A History:-

Let us look at the history of personal law in India. We will grasp everything from the Hindu and Muslim perspectives, as well as the British one. As a result, the Hindus had Shastra. Whose interpretation was performed by Brahmins and carried out by the King. No matter what type of issue it is, the Shastra has an answer for it all. Similarly, Muslims had Sharia Law, which was interpreted and enforced by the Kazis and Nawabs. When the East India Company arrived, they applied English Common Law to their English subjects. Which is why courts were founded. However, when it came to resolving the dispute of the Indian subjects, the question of which law will be adopted emerged. Brahmins and Qazis were both called upon to interpret Shastra and Sharia law. Until 1862, high courts were formed in various places of India. Many different religious laws were also enacted, such as the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act, the Hindu Women’s Right to Property Act, the Hindu Inheritance Act, and so on. Similarly, laws for Muslims were codified. Such as the Muslim Personal Law Application Act, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, and so on. Up to 1946.

  • How distinct are India’s personal laws?

The first is section 494 of the IPC. Which reads as follows: “While having a living spouse” “If someone does a second marriage, then it is a crime.” There is one exemption to this universal law: if a guy is Muslim, he may marry up to four times. That is an exception to our legal system. Now, uniformity cannot come here since you can marry as many people as you want. No, because the progressive society is monogamous, uniformity will follow. Following that, in Hindu law, illiterate marriage breakdown is not a valid cause for divorce. Following that, Hindu women inherit an equal share of a property. When compared to male relatives, Muslim women can inherit less than half of the share. Following this, Muslim women, like other Indian women, will be unable to claim maintenance for an extended period of time. The most significant distinction, in my opinion, is that Indian law mandates a consistent age for marriage for all religions. Which is between the ages of 18 and 21.This is also being discussed as a way to boost development. If marriage occurs under certain circumstances, it is considered child marriage and is illegal. However, only one religion is permitted. There are numerous such examples of different religions being used separately. We abolished untouchability, for example. Imagine if, at the moment of removing a societal ill like untouchability, legislators asked everyone, “We are removing untouchability,” “It isn’t harming your religion, right?” Doesn’t it feel strange? It’s past time for us to recognize that they are lawmakers, not people pleasers.

  • Important Case Laws (Shah Bano and Shayara Bano Case):-

The Shah Bano case is the most significant. In this case, Shah Bano was divorced after 40 years of marriage and 5 children. So, in Indian law, there is a provision CRPC section 125 that gives Indian women with maintenance protection. Shah Bano sought support under Section 125 after his divorce. Her spouse, however, filed an appeal against the maintenance. The Supreme Court’s five-judge bench, which is why it is referred to be a historic case. The Supreme Court said unequivocally that “even Muslim women are entitled” to “protection under section 125 of the CRPC.” In addition, it claimed in a comment on Article 44 that “if a uniform civil court comes,” “then it will work for national integration” and “will provide a better solution in times of conflicting ideologies.” Such a progressive decision was overturned and amended by the government at the time by introducing the Muslim Women Act. This act specifies that Muslim women cannot seek protection under Section 125 or seek maintenance under the CRPC. The most recent significant case is Shayara Bano’s, widely known as the Triple Talaq judgement. Shayara Bano’s husband divorced her after he pronounced Triple Talaq before response, Shayara Bano filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court, challenging three Muslim law practises.  Halal Nikah, Talaq e biddat and polygamy. These three practices are considered disrespectful and discriminatory. In response, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board stated that because Muslim personal law has not been codified, it should be protected by Article 25 of the constitution. But it is not possible. Muslim personal law cannot be contested in court. In this decision, the Supreme Court ruled 3:2 that Talaq e biddat, or triple talaq, is unlawful because it is not a necessary religious practise. They also stated that if Nikah Halala and polygamy are to be deemed unlawful, Parliament has the proper jurisdiction. Cut to 2023. When a PIL was filed in front of the Supreme Court in March to have the UCC passed, the court declared that the court is the wrong forum to enact the UCC. Only the Parliament has the authority to pass legislation on this subject. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated that India also requires a uniform civil court. And it has always been promised in the BJP’s electoral manifesto that it will be implemented.

  • Law Commission on UCC:-

In addition, India’s 22nd Law Commission Public and religious organizations have been requested for their thoughts and opinions on the UCC. Those who are interested can express their opinions until July 14th. However, the previous 21st Law Commission evaluated UCC in 2018 and solicited feedback from stakeholders. The Law Commission then stated in its findings that UCC is neither necessary nor desirable at this time. This previous commission identified numerous practical issues. Divorce is still stigmatized in Christian law, unlike in Hindu law, where marriage is regarded a holy institution. Marriage is a contract in Muslim law, and marriage registration is a very important rite in Parsi law. All of these attitudes must be respected, and one religion cannot be imposed on another. And if no consensus comes in UCC then the only way to move forward is to make changes in personal laws. So that diversity is preserved and at the same time to ensure that personal laws do not contradict with fundamental rights. It is also suggested that instead of bringing UCC we can remove the problems in existing personal laws and make them gender-just.

  • Alternate Solution:-

Can all of these issues be resolved without bringing in UCC? Without enacting any legislation. Yes, I believe so. We must comprehend that the state has the power of the entire cosmos to eliminate any social injustice. For example, when the Hindu Code Bill was introduced, the state used all of its powers to remove all of the objectionable sections. So, why is UCC so important in changing Muslim law? National interest, I believe, is at the top of the list. Citizens’ basic human rights are critical. Individual dignity is really essential. If we even consider presenting UCC, we can get the intended objective. I believe that the state should filter all personal laws in accordance with today’s standards. And any disparaging, discriminating, and anti-social justice practices should be declared unconstitutional. Did I adopt a positive and strict tone? It happens to me from time to time. Let me try once more. There is no threat to variety, in my opinion, with the entry of UCC or the Supreme Court’s intervention in personal law. It will not put an end to diversity. For example, uniformity does not imply that everyone must go through seven rounds to marry. Marriage uniformity could mean that everyone will have to register their marriage from now on. And we already have a lot of consistency, such as the Constitution and the contract. Does Article 14 imply that with the establishment of equality in the country, people felt threatened by diversity? No does this imply that people believe that diversity is under threat as a result of equal pay for equal work? No so, why does it appear to be for UCC? It is critical to recognize that the Constitution is ultimate and that personal legislation must be updated in accordance with the Constitution.

  • Can UCC Be Enforced?

The most prominent example is the Right to Education. So, for the longest time, legislators and commissions believed that the country had not matured or progressed sufficiently to give free and compulsory education. Then they realized that unless we make education compulsory, the country will not progress. As soon as this was realized, an amendment was passed, and the right to education was included in the list of fundamental rights. As a result, as the country progresses, new rights are established.

  • PROs and CONS of UCC:-

The benefits and drawbacks of the Uniform Civil Code. As a result, the major disadvantage is public perception of this law. That UCC is opposed to people’s religious freedom. This is a delicate task. Then it is critical to consider how this law will be introduced, as well as how it will be implemented. Because of the variety, practical issues in execution may arise. It can also be difficult to completely administer these rules without the assistance of the state. In terms of UCC, Indian states are deeply separated. These are the states that endorse the UCC. These are the states that are opposed to it. The benefits include gender equality. To ensure that all citizens have equal rights. To promote national integration and in existing personal laws will give the scope to bring reforms and transformation.

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