Uniform Civil Code: what and why ?

Uniform Civil Code: what and why?

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This article is on the topic “Uniform Civil Code”. Article 44 of the constitution of India provides that, “the state shall endeavour to secure for its citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. As we have seen that UCC is mentioned and is provided in the constitution but it’s implementation which is a primarily debatable and uncertain. The major question of its implementation have no answers. The UCC upholds the social status of women in the Indian society. The various contradictions due to which UCC is not allowed to are summed up here. The article also contains major challenges, besides from political subjects that India faces in implementation of UCC or common personal laws for every religion

Article 44 which provides that, “the state shall endeavour to secure for its citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”, is one of the directive principles of the state policy (DPSP). We are under constitutional regime since last 70 years but the common code has not been implemented. It’s because of certain issues and drawbacks, which are main factors behind non – implementation of UCC. We are the citizens of a country which has a diverse culture backgrounds religion customs and faith. We have criminal laws and civil laws but we don’t have the common civil code. It is well said that no one has authority to speak in anybody’s personal matters but when it comes to whole citizens of the country, it becomes necessity. The UCC aims to replace the personal laws which are based on the scriptures, myths, and customs of each religious communities. In today’s modern era it’s not the period of having biases on the basis of the religion, caste etc. There is a need of secular law which would uphold the secular instincts of a secular country without any discrimination. UCC basically talks about this change with uniformity.

Various causes are there which purports to justify the implementation of UCC. In 21st century there is a strict requirement to provide equal status to all citizens to provide gender equality and fair representation.
In present scenario, in everyday life we get to know about the various aspect which affirms the dominance of men over women. As, men are usually gets preference in the matter of succession and inheritance. Generally men are prefer and proposed as share holders and heAd of the family, society and community. The implementation of the UCC will eradicate the difference between men and women. India is a country whose 65% population is below 35 years, by this we can say that modernisation and uniqueness becomes the basic instinct of Indian society. By implementation of
UCC we can enhance the participation of youth in nation building, because youth is who brings huge and observational changes for the upliftment of the society.
Supreme Court first directed the parliament to frame UCC in the case of ‘Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah bano’[1] (shah Bano case) in 1985 by giving maintainance under section 125 of CrPC. In this case, the then CJI, justice Y.V. Chandrachud, observed that a common civil code would remove disparate loyalty to law and will surely help in national integration. The court has thus directed the parliament to frame the UCC.
Another case i.e. ‘Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India’[2] which is related to abuse of personal law by converting religion. Supreme Court has for another time directed the parliament to frame the UCC.
Juvenile justice (care and protection) act 2014 is step forward towards implementation of UCC. Because it allowed Muslims to. Adopt a child in spite of the fact that it is not allowed under personal law.
Although, there is a serious need of implementing the UCC, there are some questions that hesitate the common persons. There is generally notion among the persons, that after implementation of UCC there religious customs will be harmed but it’s not like that.
Almost every democratic republic usually have UCC. The feeling among the persons have to be generated that implementation of the UCC will Eradicate the discrimination on the basis of religion. UCC refers to the situation in which all citizens of the country have to follow the same laws irrespective of their religion. This sounds justified in the context of the secularism too. This will ensure the actual aspect of our secular state.
As article 14 of Indian constitution states “every single citizen is equal in the eyes of law and court”. So to ensure equality there should be same laws related to marriage, divorce, adoption, family, inheritance, land etc.
Adoption of UCC can be said to be a good sign of modernisation. It can also lead to eradication of caste and religious politics upto certain extent. By being divided in realm of personal laws, we can be considered as socially and culturally degraded of such a level that is neither modern nor traditional. If all religions are mugged up, there is a lesser chance of someone being superior or inferior then there will be democracy in a right manner. The absence of UCC is deterrent for the democracy of the country. In various aspect Dr. BR Ambedkar raised his voice for implementation of UCC but later his recommendation were rejected by constituent assembly and inserted only as DPSP.
UCC involves the concept of secularism and need to be analysed at a great length. Some sections consider that UCC is against secularism and some regard it as harbinger of communal harmony. Lastly , the eminent cause of right of women looms large in the banks of UCC.

Till date UCC has not yet implemented. But on a serious note there is an urgent need of it. Secularism upholds the idea of the co existence but disregards religion parallel to atheism.
The issue of triple talak has once again ignited the urgency of UCC in India. Implementation of UCC will be a new ray of hope for women who are lacking in their right. It’s implementation will definitely ensure the situation of non discrimination between genders and citizens. And it will also uphold the modernisation and secularism. It will be helpful for everyone such as women, family, religious minorities etc. By this standard of citizens will be upgrade and there will be equal respect and honour for all.

The diverse nature of Indian society somewhere seems to create a tough situation to come up with UCC.
Some communities mainly minorities perceive UCC as an encroachment on their rights to religious freedoms. There is an argument behind this that UCC is a violation of article 25 which guarantees the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion.
The most common thing that can easily be inferred is that, under the garb of UCC the state may seek to invade the religious freedom of minorities.

According to our point of view UCC would be an ideal safeguard of citizens right. It is a ‘progressive legislation’. With changing time there is a need of common civil code that should be implemented irrespective of religion for all citizens, so that there fundamental and constitutional rights are protected. UCC should be implemented because it also strengthens the secularism and national integrity.
At the end we can say that by the implementation of UCC we will create a country of dreams of Dr. BR Ambedkar and MK Gandhi as Gandhi has said “I don’t expect India of my dreams to develop one religion but I want to be wholly tolerant with its religious working side by side with one and another”.

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Law student of University of Lucknow

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