Uniform Civil Code is undesirable, unnecessary: Law commission tells Centre
The Centre had asked the commission more than two years back to examine if it was time to bring in a uniform code on personal laws of various communities.Updated: Aug 31, 2018 19:13 IST
A common civil law for all communities in India is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage, the law commission has concluded in a consultation paper, rejecting a suggestion that it was time for a uniform civil code in the country.
The commission released the paper on Friday, just hours before its three-year term ended.
The Centre had asked the commission more than two years back to examine if it was time to bring in a uniform code on personal laws of various communities.
The commission emphatically responded in the negative, underlining that “it is (more) important to deal with laws that discriminate between men and women”.
“This Commission has therefore dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage,” the commission said.
“The issue of uniform civil code is vast, and its potential repercussions, untested in India,” the panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge BS Chauhan said.
Justice Chauhan’s panel said mere existence of difference in a country does not imply discrimination, but is indicative of a robust democracy. Most countries, the panel said, are moving towards recognition of differences.
The UCC has been a long-standing poll promise and ideological position of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but many minority groups have opposed it because they see it as an effort to erase their cultural and religious identities.
Last month, it said it will steer clear of most personal laws relating to Muslim marriage and divorce.
In June 2016, the law ministry sent a reference to the commission asking it for an in-depth examination of “matters in relation to the Uniform Civil Code” and whether the time was ripe for bringing it in.
In October that year, the commission had sought responses from political parties, religious groups and the public at large for comments and suggestions on the issue.
The commission issued an appeal on March 19 asking stakeholders and the public at large to send in their suggestions and comments on the issue of the common civil code. The appeal also said that suggestions related to triple talaq should be excluded because a bill to criminalise the practice of Talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq is pending in Parliament.
First Published: Aug 31, 2018 19:13 IST