New Delhi: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that a decision on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) could not be taken so far, considering the 21st Law commission, responsible for the task, ended on August 31 in 2018 as it term was completed.
“Government had requested the 21st Law Commission of India to undertake examination of various issues relating to Uniform Civil Code and to make recommendations thereon. The term of the 21st Law Commission ended on 31.8.2018,” said the law minister.
The union minister further added that the matter related to UCC may be taken up by the 22nd Law Commission for its consideration.
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“Therefore, no decision on the implementation of Uniform Civil Code has been taken as of now,” he added.
There has been multiple debates over the implementation of UCC since the independence, which recommends to replace distinct personal laws of each religion regarding marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance with a common law irrespective of their religion, gender or caste.
As per the Article 44, the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform
civil code throughout the territory of India.
BJP Raised Issue in 2019
The matter of the UCC addresses the sensitive nature of the relationship between religion and law in the nation, which was aggressively raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during election campaign in 2019 Assembly election.
Last year, Union Home Minister Amit Shah promised to implement the UCC. He said, “If a nation and States are secular, how can laws be based on religion? For every believer, there should be one law passed by the Parliament or the State assemblies.”
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Status of Personal Laws Currently
At present, each community is being run by their own personal laws regarding civil matters such as woman’s proprietorship with spouses and brothers.
The Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Succession Act, Minority and Guardianship Act, and Adoption and Maintenance Act are governing the Hindu community whereas, Muslims follow Shariah law and the Christian Marriage Act governs Christians. Meanwhile, the Special Marriage Act, 1972, can govern all marriages in India regardless of religion.
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