Women’s rights not religion or politics our focus: Law Commission to CMs | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Women’s rights not religion or politics our focus: Law Commission to CMs

The focus of the Law Commission’s deliberations on family law reforms in India will be on women’s rights and not religious rights or political debates, commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan has said in a communication addressed to all chief ministers as it seeks wider consultations on the viability of enforcing a Uniform Civil Code across the country.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2016 14:56 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Justice BSChauhan, the chairman of the Law Commission.
Justice BSChauhan, the chairman of the Law Commission.

The focus of the Law Commission’s deliberations on family law reforms in India will be on women’s rights and not religious rights or political debates, commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan has said in a communication addressed to all chief ministers as it seeks wider consultations on the viability of enforcing a Uniform Civil Code across the country.

The commission’s stance is in consonance with the position taken by the government on the issue of Triple Talaq and polygamy in the Supreme Court earlier this month and has sparked off another debate. “This is clearly a government-backed effort,” CPM politburo member Brinda Karat told HT.

Commission sources said they will invite political parties and religious groups before firming up the report on uniform personal laws.

Commission chairman Justice BS Chauhan wrote a letter to chief ministers of all states last week, asking them to encourage stake holders including “religious and minority groups, social groups, NGOs, political parties civil society initiatives and even government departments and agencies to share their views and interact with us.”

“While deliberating on family law reforms in India, the commission would like to stress on women’s rights rather than dwelling on constitutional provisions, religious rights and political debates etc,” Justice Chauhan wrote.

Accusing the commission of trying to give the effort a majoritarian push, Karat added, “If law commission members are RSS-compliant, there is nothing more you can expect.” HT had earlier reported, of the two-part time members appointed to the commission, Satya Pal Jain is a former BJP MP and Rajkot-based lawyer Abhay Bhardwaj has RSS links.

The commission’s four-page questionnaire to stake-holders, released on October 7, had sparked a controversy with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board deciding to boycott the commission’s process to gather feedback on UCC. The CPM politburo had issued a statement on Tuesday saying the effort would be counterproductive to the rights of women.

“With the offensive of the communal forces on the very identity of minority communities, any move to push the agenda of Uniform Civil Code as is being done by the Government directly and through its institutions is counterproductive for the rights of women. Uniformity is not the guarantee for equality,” it said.