Law Commission Chairman B S Chauhan today sounded surprised over the decision of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to boycott the questionnaire of the panel on Uniform Civil Code (UCC), but refused to comment on the controversy. "I have no comments to offer.
The only thing I would like to state is that we have only floated the documents for public comments. No report has been finalised," he said to a poser on the AIMPLB questioning the decision of the law panel to seek public comments on UCC and the issue of 'triple talaq'. Talking to PTI, the former Supreme Court judge said seeking public comments on issues of importance is a practice successive Commissions have followed. The AIMPLB and various other outfits today opposed the Law Commission's questionnaire on Uniform Civil Code and announced their boycott of the move, accusing the government of waging a "war" against the community. In an appeal issued on October 7, the Commission had said the objective of the endeavour was to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise various cultural practices. In the appeal, it has assured the people that the "norms of no one class, group or community will dominate the tone and tenor of family law reforms". Justice Chauhan had said in the appeal that the family law reform has to view women's rights as an end in itself rather than a matter of constitutional provision, religious right and political debate. Indicating need for wider consultation before taking a call on Uniform Civil Code, the government had in June asked the Law Commission to examine the issue. Implementation of a common code is part of the BJP's election manifesto. The move asking the law panel to examine the issue 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. On October 7, the Centre in an affidavit in the Supreme Court had opposed the practice of triple talaq.
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