The Constitutionality of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

Introduction

Every law in India has passed through the constitution of India. A person believes to gets their fundamental rights from the constitution of India. The government believes to a person has fullfill the fundamental duties which are mentioned in the constitution of India. India has 28 states and 8 Union territories. India believes in unity and diversity. Part IV DPSP Directive Principles of State Policy[1] of the Constitution of India has a provision states shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code for the territory of India. Apex court has mentioned in its various judgment about to implementation of  Unifrom Civil Code (UCC) such as the SHAH BANO CASE[2].

National Democratic Alliance -II was mentioned in his manifesto to implement the Unifrom Civil Code (UCC). One common set of laws for personal matters such as marriage, divorce, will, Inheritance, and adoption, is applicable to all citizens irrespective religion of citizens. 22nd Law Commission of India wants Public review for drafting on Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The concerned person is liberty  to make their submissions in the form of consultation/ discussion/ working papers on any of the issues pertaining to the Uniform Civil Code to the “Member Secretary, Law Commission of India, 4th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi – 110 003.” If need be, Commission may call upon any individual or organization for a personal hearing or discussion.

UCC

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Constitutionality of the Uniform Civil Code

 

The constitutionality of the UCC on the principles of equality, justice, and freedom mention in the  Constitution of India. Article 44[3] of the Constitution mentions the UCC as a directive principle of state policy, urging the state to strive towards its implementation. However, the implementation of the UCC requires balancing the constitutional rights of religious freedom and cultural diversity with the objective of promoting equality and justice.

 

Critics argue that implementing a UCC violates the fundamental right to religious freedom guaranteed under Article 25[4] of the Constitution. They contend that personal laws are integral to religious practices and should be protected as an expression of religious freedom. Whereas, opponents argue that a diverse country like India should respect cultural and religious differences by allowing communities to govern their personal matters through their respective personal laws.

 

Impact of UCC Implementation on a Goa State

 

Goa, become Part of India on December 1961 but Goa had its own UCC since 1890[5]. Goa, in India, stands as a unique example where a form of Uniform Civil Code has been implemented. The state has a common civil code known as the Goa Civil Code, which applies to all residents, irrespective of their religion. This code was introduced during the Portuguese colonial rule and has continued to be in effect even after Goa’s integration into independent India.

 

The Goa Civil Code has had a significant impact on the state’s social fabric and governance. Here are some key aspects that demonstrate the influence of a Uniform Civil Code:

 

  1. Gender Equality:

The Goa Civil Code provides equal rights to women, specifically in matters of inheritance. The code ensures that daughters have an equal share in their parental property, challenging the prevailing practices in other parts of India where gender-based biases exist.

 

  1. Social Bond:

The Goa Civil Code fosters social harmony by transcending religious divisions and establishing a common legal framework. It promotes a sense of bond among residents, regardless of their religious beliefs. The code acknowledges and respects diverse cultural practices, but within the framework of a unified civil code, ensuring equality and justice for all.

 

  1. Simplified Legal System:

The presence of a uniform civil code in Goa has streamlined the legal processes and reduced legal complexities. The absence of conflicting personal laws has made it easier for individuals to navigate the legal system, leading to more efficient resolution of personal matters such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance.

 

  1. Modernization and Progressiveness:

The Goa Civil Code reflects a progressive outlook by incorporating modern principles of equality and justice. It sets an example of how a Uniform Civil Code can adapt to changing societal dynamics while upholding core values

 

Hinders to Implement the UNIFORM CIVIL CODE (UCC):

 

1.  Cultural Diversity:

 

India is known for its rich cultural and religious diversity, with people following different personal laws based on their religion. It is difficult to convince people of different communities for Implementing a UCC that disregards these diverse traditions and customs may lead to resistance and opposition from various religious communities.

 2. Clash of Personal Laws:

 

India is a secular country where individuals are governed by personal laws based on their religion, such as Hindu Law, Muslim Law, Christian Law, and others. These personal laws have evolved over centuries and are deeply rooted in religious scriptures and traditions. Implementing a UCC would require to de-frame these different personal laws, which could result in conflicts and challenges, as each religion has its own unique practices and principles.

3. Political Opposition:

The implementation of a UCC is a highly sensitive and political issue in India. The political opposition and lack of consensus among different stakeholders make it challenging to pass legislation on this matter Political parties often take opposing stands on the subject based on their vote bank considerations. The fear of losing support from religious or conservative groups often hinders the progress toward enacting a uniform civil code.

4. Religious Groups:

While Implementation of a UCC. Various groups from different communities oppose the UCC due to the conservation or fear of losing their customs or traditions. They would protest to the implementation of UCC. Different regions have their own unique customs, traditions, and social practices. Adapting a uniform set of laws to accommodate these regional variations while ensuring fairness and equality for all can be a daunting task.

 

Conclusion

 

The concept of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) has its merits in promoting equality and justice, it’s important to consider the hindrances and challenges associated with UCC implementation. Indian cultural and Cultural diversity, Clash of Personal law, Political Oppositions, and Religious Groups make it a complex issue.

This Article has been Written by Mahboob Gaddi Pursuing in Penultimante year of its LL.B from Law Centre-II, Faculty of Law , University of Delhi

 

 

 

[1] https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/pdf1/Part4.pdf

[2] https://legaldoxa.com/the-case-of-shah-bano-a-landmark-moment-in-indias-legal-and-social-history/

[3] https://www.constitutionofindia.net/articles/article-44-uniform-civil-code-for-the-citizens/

[4] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/631708/

[5] https://dip.goa.gov.in/history-of-goa/

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