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Uniform Civil Code

1) Uniform civil code means one national civil code which will be applicable to all the
citizens irrespective of their religion.
2) It is based on the premise that there is necessarily no connection between religion and
personal law in a civilized society.
3) Covers areas like marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption. These
matters are of secular nature and hence can be regulated by a uniform law.
Arguments in favour
1) It will enhance the status of women and so-called lower castes as many personal laws
are biased against them.
2) Many provisions are violations of human rights.
3) Article 25 and 26 guarantee freedom of religion and UCC is not opposed to
secularism.
4) Modern, liberal and gender-sensitive civil code is need of the hour.
5) A sign that the Nation has moved away from caste and religion considerations.
6) Will help in reducing vote bank politics that most political parties indulge in during
elections and in National integration.
Arguments against and hurdles
1) Change in laws in favour of women like Hindu inheritance Act has neither brought
about any change in the percentage of property held by women nor in their status.
2) Some sections in Minorities claim it is a way of imposing majority views on them.
3) Lack of political will due to the complexity and sensitivity of the issue.
4) Misinformation about UCC - Content of UCC has not been spelt out leading minorities
to believe that it is a way of Hinduise them.
5) Different religious communities have different personal laws which lead to
politicization. Due to these, UCC has become next to impossible.
Way forward
1) We should ask all communities to suggest reforms within personal laws on modern
and liberal lines.
2) Communities should be convinced that UCC is to bring reforms not suppress them.
3) May be a piecemeal reform rather than a holistic reform starting with what minorities
are most comfortable of doing away with.

Arguments in favor of Uniform Civil Code:

UCC will promote justice, equality and national integration. The enactment of
UCC will promote Gender equality and welfare of women. It can be argued that Personal
Law system violates the principle of equality of the Constitution because by having
different personal laws for different religions, we are going against the secularism and
equality[4]. But UCC can promote equality and justice by incorporating similar laws for all
citizens.
Another advantage of UCC is that it will simplify the cumbersome legal matters
governed by personal laws and will promote gender justice by removing the inbuilt
gender injustice of personal laws[5]. In the absence of UCC judges interpret various
provisions like maintenance in case of Muslim women according to their prejudices and
opinion. The introduction of UCC will prevent such interference and promote Uniform
provisions for the welfare of all women.
The para
mount objective of unity and integrity of India as resolved by the People of India in the
preamble could be achieved only when Article 44 is transformed into enforceable
Uniform Civil Code[6]. In India, secular laws like Special Marriage Act 1954, already
exists. This law governs members of all the religions whether Hindu, Muslim, Parsi,
Christian, etc. it is acceptable among all the citizens of India. This shows that there is no
reason that why a uniform secular law cannot be extended and enacted for whole India.
It has been rightly pointed that UCC will not violate Article 25 and 26 and it will help
in attaining secularism and Article 44.[7]Further, it can be argued that marriage,
succession etc. are secular matters and law can regulate them.[8] Article 25 of the
Constitution of India gives power to state to interfere in matters of religion. So, the state
can enact provisions for welfare of religious entities and we can argue that UCC is
welfare legislation because it will remove the inherent injustice and loopholes of Personal
Law System.
The introduction of UCC will promote monogamy among all the citizen of India
including Muslim and it will lead to betterment in the position of women. It will also
remove prejudices against women regarding personal laws on divorce and maintenance.
In India, laws governing Hindu women are progressive and less discriminatory as
compared to laws governing Muslim women. There is no reason that why one portion of
women should be excluded from the benefits of such rights. The introduction of UCC will
ensure uniform rights for the women all over India.
Arguments against Uniform Civil Code:
It is argued that drafting a UCC will not prove good for India because India has a more
diverse culture with people of so many religions living and professing their religion and
so India should not blindly copy the west positivism centered legal trajectory.
[9] Secondly, the continuing personal law system can handle the potential inequality
through the intricate process of gradual harmonization of Indian personal laws.[10]

It is largely looked upon by Muslims as a threat to their identity because the code in itself
seems to be favoring the majority population of Hindus. It looks like a Uniform Hindu
Code rather than a uniform code that will be secular in nature. But this problem can be
resolved by taking into the consideration the problems of the minority group like
insecurity, complete loss of identity and marginalization within Indian society.
Conclusion
UCC will promote justice, Gender equality and national integration and it will simplify the
cumbersome legal matters governed by personal laws. The objective of unity and
integrity of India enshrined in the preamble could be achieved only when Article 44 is
transformed into enforceable Uniform Civil Code and it can promote monogamy among
all the citizen of India including Muslim and it will lead to betterment in the position of
women. Moreover the problem of opposition of UCC can be resolved by resolving doubts
relating to the problems of the minority group like insecurity, complete loss of identity and
marginalization within Indian society. The benefits of UCC certainly outweigh its
limitations and its high time that India should incorporate Uniform Civil Code for all its
citizens.

[1] Article 44 of Indian Constitution


[2] AIR 1985 SC 945
[3] Tina M. Thomas, A Uniform Civil Code in India, International Affairs Journal Vol. 5
No.1, 11 (2009).
[4] Nithya N.R, Uniform Civil Code for India: Prospects and Constraints, Global Research
Analysis Journal Vol. 2 Issue 9 ,157(Sept.2013)
[5] Neepa Jani, Uniform Civil Code, A Vociferous Judicial Claim and reluctant Political
Will, Voice of Research Vol1 Issue 4 , 58 (March 2013)

[6] Shivam Garg, Uniform Civil Code: In Context of Secularism, available


at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2343500&download=yes
[7] Werner Menski,The Uniform Civil Code Debate in Indian Law ,German Law Journal
Vol9 Issue 3, 214 (2008)
[8] ibid
[9] ibid

[10] Amit Kumar Kashyap, Decoding Uniform Civil Code: Scope and practicability,
available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1520935