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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.