'Uttarakhand will be 'first' state...' Pushkar Singh Dhami keeps poll promise
- On the last day of the campaign in the recently held assembly elections, Dhami had announced forming a committee of experts to form a Uniform Civil Code draft for Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday said the committee formulated for implementing the uniform civil code (UCC) in the state is "working on the first draft" and it will be implemented as soon as the final draft is complete.
“That committee is making a draft, and on the basis of that, the uniform civil code will be implemented in Uttarakhand. In the first cabinet, we have prepared a note, which is being worked upon,” news agency ANI quoted Dhami as saying.
On the last day of the campaign in the recently held assembly elections, Dhami had announced forming a committee of experts to form a UCC draft for Uttarakhand. Dhami, soon after taking an oath as chief minister for the second term, had said that he would form a committee comprising jurists, retired judges, and enlightened people of the society to implement the uniform civil code in the state, claiming that Uttarakhand will be the first to do so.
UCC essentially refers to a common set of laws governing personal matters such as marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance and succession for all citizens of the country, irrespective of religion. Currently, different laws regulate these aspects for adherents of different religions and a UCC is meant to do away with these inconsistent personal laws.
Goa is the only state that has a uniform civil code regardless of religion, gender or caste. It has been following the Portuguese Civil Code 1867, which is also called Uniform Civil Code. After its liberation from Portuguese rule, the UCC survived through Section 5(1) of the Goa, Daman and Diu Administration Act, 1962, news agency PTI reported.
Dhami said that the UCC would be an important step towards fulfilling the dreams of the framers of the Constitution and would give shape to the spirit of the Constitution. “This will also be an effective step in the direction of Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which introduces the concept of the Uniform Civil Code for all citizens of the country,” he told ANI.
"The Supreme Court has also stressed its implementation from time to time,” he added.
“Until the UCC was enacted for all the citizens of the country, there will always be a loophole because different faiths have different beliefs, and naturally due to different beliefs and practices of communities, there will be a conflict," the top court had previously said in the Sarla Mudgal Case (1995).
The Delhi and Allahabad high courts have also previously backed the code. The Delhi high court had said a UCC should not remain a mere hope in the Constitution, expressing regret over conflicts in society due to differences in various personal laws.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has also backed the UCC from time to time. In its 2019 Lok Sabha elections manifesto, the BJP had promised a UCC saying that gender equality wouldn't be possible without it.