Uniform Civil Code resonates with one country one rule, to be applied to all religious communities. The term, ‘Uniform Civil Code’ is explicitly mentioned in Part 4, Article 44 of the Indian Constitution. Article 44 says, “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
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The Uniform Civil Code (often referred to as the UCC) is a proposed law in India that would establish and carry out personal laws of citizens that would be applicable to everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
Uniform Civil Code In India History
- The British government’s 1835 report on colonial India, which emphasized the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law with regard to crimes, evidence, and contracts and specifically suggested that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside of such codification, is where the UCC first emerged.
- The B N Rau Committee was established by the government in 1941 to codify Hindu law as a result of an increase in laws addressing individual issues after the end of British rule. The Hindu Law Committee was tasked with examining whether common Hindu laws are essential.
- The committee’s suggestion, which was based on the scriptures, said that under a codified form of Hindu law, women would be accorded equal rights. After reviewing the 1937 Act, the committee proposed creating a civil code for Hindu marriage and succession.
Proposed Uniform Civil Code in Rajya Sabha: Reasons and Objectives
The BJP member Kirodi Lal Meena submitted a bill in the upper house that would create a commission to draught a UCC. BJP member Kirodi Lal Meena introduced a bill in Rajya Sabha to establish a commission tasked with drafting a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) that would be implemented nationwide. The bill proposes the creation of a national inspection and investigation commission to ensure the formulation of a uniform civil code.
Uniform Civil Code in India: What does the Indian Constitution say?
Meanwhile, the Indian people enjoy the guaranteed right to freely practice their religion, and religious organizations have the autonomy to handle their internal matters, as outlined in Articles 25 to 28 of the Indian Constitution. Article 44 of the Constitution mandates the Indian state to adhere to directive principles and common law while formulating national policies for all citizens of India.
The Indian LGBTQIA+ community has reason to be hopeful because the Uniform Civil Code does not discriminate on the basis of gender or sexual orientation. Up to this time, no relevant legislation in India has recognised same-sex weddings as legitimate.
Drafting of Personal Laws in India: Historical Timeline
Personal laws were initially created for people that are largely Hindu and Muslim during the British Raj. British authorities were worried about the community leaders’ reaction, therefore they opted against meddling more in this internal issue.
India’s state of Goa was removed from the nation. The Indian state of Goa was split off from the rest of India due to colonial control in the previously Portuguese Goa and Daman, but it retained its common family law, known as the Goa civil code, making it the only state in India to this day with a unified civil code.
Following India’s independence, legislation known as the “Hindu code” defined and reorganised many of the country’s various religious groups, including the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, while exempting several others.