Law Commission’s report on uniform civil code not before 2018
The Law Commission of India, tasked with examining whether the time is ripe for bringing in a uniform civil code in the country, could take up to a year to submit its report to the government, top sources in the commission told HT.
“The commission has time until August 2018 to wrap up its report. We will do it before that,” a senior commission official who did not want to be named, said.
A member of the team working on the code said the commission would require months to examine the issue and come up with comprehensive recommendations.
The commission was set up in September 2015 for a period of three years.
After the Supreme Court’s verdict on instant triple talaq, it was widely perceived that the commission will submit its report soon, paving the way for the BJP-led government to begin the legislative process for bringing uniformity in personal laws.
The uniform civil code has been a long-standing poll promise and ideological position of the BJP. The law ministry had in June 2016 sent a reference to the commission asking it for an in-depth examination of “matters in relation to the Uniform Civil Code.”
Officials said the commission received as many as 40,000 recommendations from members of the public, NGOs, experts, religious groups and political parties after it sought suggestions in October.
“It (uniform code) is a very wide subject. The court considered only instant triple talaq… We want to present a report that is acceptable to all stakeholders,” the official said.
The commission had put on hold the process of tabulating responses, with petitioner Shayara Bano’s appeal against instant triple talaq (or talaq-e-biddat) pending in the Supreme Court. After the court’s majority judgment on Tuesday, the commission will resume the process.
“We will resume the tabulation of responses and study the Supreme Court’s judgment abolishing instant talaq. It is a voluminous judgment. We will have to study the court’s observations on personal law,” a senior law commission official said.
A fire in the law commission’s new office in New Delhi on July 24 will add to the delay, sources said. Officials confirmed that the fire has possibly delayed things “by a month or so”.