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Big step towards uniform civil code: Govt asks Law Commission to examine implications

Prime Minister-led Central Government Has Asked The Law Commission To Examine The Issue Of Implementing The Uniform Civil Code. This Big Step, Which Has Been Taken For The First Time, Is Likely To Spark A Heated Political Debate Ahead Of The Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 01 Jul 2016, 03:40:50 PM

New Delhi:

Prime Minister-led Central government has asked the Law Commission to examine the issue of implementing the uniform civil code. This big step, which has been taken for the first time, is likely to spark a heated political debate ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

In a letter to the Law Commission, the Law Ministry has sought detailed report on the implications of the implementation of a uniform civil code. The Law Ministry has asked Law Commission to “examine the matter in relation to uniform civil code and submit a report”. 

Retired Supreme Court Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan currently heads the Law Commission, which will submit its report soon.
Article 44 sets implementation of uniform civil code as the “duty of the State”. It has always been a controversial issue since 1985.

If the Uniform Civil Code is implemented, all the Indian citizens will come under personal laws irrespective of their religion. India currently has different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims.

The move  assumes significance as the Supreme Court had recently said it would prefer a wider debate, in public as well as in court, before taking a decision on the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, which many complain is abused by Muslim men to arbitrarily divorce their wives.

Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had earlier said that the issue could be referred to the Law Commission for examination. Gowda had said “wider consultations” will be held with various personal law boards and other stakeholders to evolve a consensus and the process may take some time.

“...Even the Preamble of our Constitution and Article 44 of the Constitution do say that there should be a Uniform Civil needs to have a wider consultation,” he had said. A decision “cannot be done in a day or two. It will take its own time”, Gowda had said.

Implementation of a common civil code is part of the BJP’s election manifesto. But the NDA, when it came to power in 1998 and 1999 and now under Narendra Modi, had kept contentious issues, including the UCC, on the backburner.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published : 01 Jul 2016, 03:39:00 PM