Dimensions of Uniform Civil Code - Daily Current Affair Article

References

In recent years, Uniform Civil Code has been the subject of social and political discussion.

Introduction

  • There is a civil law for all citizens that applies in cases of marriage, divorce, succession, and property. In India in general it was the system that criminal cases were governed by the law of the state, while civil laws were governed by the personal laws of different religions.
  • But over time many civil laws were co-ordinated. In the present time, Hindu laws (in which Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh) have been codified. But many rules are still governed according to personal law in the Muslim community, Parsi community, and Christian community. For this, many times there is a demand to implement the same civil code

Constitutional Status of Uniform Civil Code: -

  • This is described under Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy of Part-4 of the Indian Constitution. According to Article 44 "The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India".

Arguments in favor of the implementation of equal citizenship

For the right to equality

The right to equality is commercialized in the fundamental right of the Indian Constitution.

  • Article 14- The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
  • Article -15- The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them

But these rights are violated due to the non-implementation of the Uniform Civil code

For social justice

  • The principle of dignified life has been established under Article-21, but for women, it has been continuously violated. Three divorces, temple admissions, etc. Many cases where patriarchalism emerged are being governed by religion. Succession matters where various personal law differences clearly show. In such a situation, a uniform civil code is needed to protect the rights of women. That is, the Uniform Civil Code is not a religious but a social subject.

For legal clarity

  • In general, discrimination and non-existence exist in religious laws. Due to the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, the same rule will bring legal spasticity to different subjects across the country.

Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Equal citizenship is the directive element of state policy. According to Article 37 of the Indian Constitution, the state should consider these directive elements while formulating the law.

The argument in opposition to Uniform Civil Code -

  • There is a matter of violation of Article 25 related to religious rights with Uniform Civil Code, according to which all the citizens have been given the freedom to propagate and conduct following the religion. Therefore, the Uniform Civil Code will raise questions on religious faith.
  • The political system of India is democratic, but the society of the country has not yet become fully democratic. In this situation, a situation of conflict can arise in the society when Uniform Civil Code is implemented.
  • Religion is still an important pillar in Indian society. Uniform Civil Code can be considered as a blow to religion.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy are not enforceable by law.

Law Commission on Uniform Civil Code

  • In the 2018 report of the Law Commission, the Law Commission rejected the need for Uniform Civil Code. The Law Commission has recommended codifying personal law.

Court's view on Uniform Civil Code

  • The Supreme Court is in favor of equal citizenship. After the Shahbano case, the Supreme Court reprimanded the government for not taking steps in this matter. The need for which was also expressed on the issue of triple talaq.

Road ahead

Uniform Civil Code is indeed necessary for ending gender discrimination and for the full attainment of secularism and democracy, but it should not be imposed by the government. It is necessary to move towards equal citizen consent while improving personal law.

General Studies Papers 1 and 2
  • Indian Society and Indian Polity
  • Diversity of India, the main features of Indian society.
  • Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism, and secularism.
  • Indian Constitution - historical basis, development, features, amendments, important provisions, and basic structure.

Mains Question:-

  • Do you agree that India's society can accept "equal citizen tolerance"? Give an argument in favor of your answer?