Law Commission’s report on Uniform Civil Code

Context: The 22nd Law Commission of India sought the views of religious organisations and the public on the issue of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC). What is Uniform Civil Code?
  • Uniformity – A UCC would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities, in their personal matters.
  • Constitutionality– Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for citizens throughout the territory of India.
  • Not enforceable- Article 44 is among the Directive Principles of State Policy. Directive Principles are not enforceable by court, but are supposed to inform and guide governance.
Recommendations of 21st Law Commission:
  • Gender-just reforms- It underlined that rather than enacting a UCC, family laws of every religion must be reformed to make them gender-just.
  • Uniformity of rights– It talked about the uniformity of rights, not laws.
  • Reforms for women and children- It recommended a series of reforms in the personal laws of all religions as well as the secular laws that place women and children at a disadvantage.
Way ahead (as per 21st Law Commission):
  • Codification of Muslim laws– It suggested the codification of the Muslim law of inheritance and succession and bringing in uniform provisions of succession for Shias and Sunnis.
  • Basis of succession– It held that succession and inheritance should be based on “proximity to the deceased rather than a preference to male agnates”.
  • Abolition of HUF- It suggested the abolition of the Hindu coparcenary system-the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property.
Mains Question: “Discuss the concept of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and analyze its applicability to a democratic society, taking into account the principles of secularism, individual rights, and cultural diversity.”
Syllabus Mapping:
  • Subject: Polity and Governance (GS-II)
    • Sub-topic: Constitutional Provisions and Fundamental Rights
  • Introduction: Briefly define the concept of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
  • Highlight its objective of providing a common set of civil laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religion or personal beliefs.
  • Highlight the principles of secularism, individual rights, and cultural diversity that form the foundation of a democratic society.
  • Address the challenges associated with implementing a UCC in a diverse country like India.
  • Present a balanced view by acknowledging the potential of a UCC to uphold democratic principles while considering the challenges of implementation.

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