Business Standard
What is Uniform Civil Code

Uniform Civil Code

About Uniform Civil Code

What is Uniform Civil Code

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
The issue has been at the center of political narrative and debate for over a century and a priority agenda for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been pushing for the legislation in Parliament. The saffron party was the first to promise the implementation of UCC if it comes to power and the issue was part of its 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto.
Why is Article 44 important?
The objective of Article 44 of the Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution was to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise diverse cultural groups across the country. Dr. B R Ambedkar, while formulating the Constitution had said that a UCC is desirable but for the moment it should remain voluntary, and thus the Article 35 of the draft Constitution was added as a part of the Directive Principles of the State Policy in part IV of the Constitution of India as Article 44. It was incorporated in the Constitution as an aspect that would be fulfilled when the nation would be ready to accept it and the social acceptance to the UCC could be made.
Ambedkar in his speech in the Constituent Assembly had said, "No one need be apprehensive that if the State has the power, the State will immediately proceed to execute…that power in a manner may be found to be objectionable by the Muslims or by the Christians or by any other community. I think it would be a mad government if it did so."
Origin of Uniform Civil Code
The origin of the UCC dates back to colonial India when the British government submitted its report in 1835 stressing the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidence, and contracts, specifically recommending that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside such codification.
Increase in legislations dealing with personal issues in the far end of the British rule forced the government to form the B N Rau Committee to codify Hindu law in 1941. The task of the Hindu Law Committee was to examine the question of the necessity of common Hindu laws. The committee, in accordance with scriptures, recommended a codified Hindu law, which would give equal rights to women. The 1937 Act was reviewed and the committee recommended a civil code of marriage and succession for Hindus.
What is the Hindu Code Bill?
The draft of the Rau Committee report was submitted to a select committee chaired by B R Ambedkar that came up for discussion in 1951 after the adoption of the Constitution. While discussions continued, the Hindu Code Bill lapsed and was resubmitted in 1952. The bill was then adopted in 1956 as the Hindu Succession Act to amend and codify the law relating to intestate or unwilled succession, among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The Act reformed the Hindu personal law and gave women greater property rights, and ownership. It gave women property rights in their father's estate.
The general rules of succession under the Act 1956 for a male who dies intestate is that heirs in Class I succeed in preference to heirs in other classes. An amendment to the Act in the year 2005 added more descendants elevating females to Class I heirs. The daughter is allotted the same share as is allotted to a son.
Difference between civil laws and criminal laws
While the criminal laws in India are uniform and applicable equally on all, no matter what their religious beliefs are, the civil laws are influenced by faith. Swayed by religious texts, the personal laws which come into effect in civil cases have always been implemented according to constitutional norms.
What are personal laws?
Laws that apply to a certain group of people based on their religion, caste, faith, and belief made after due consideration of customs and religious texts. The personal laws of Hindus and Muslims find their source and authority in their religious ancient texts.
In Hinduism, personal laws are applicable to legal issues related to inheritance, succession, marriage, adoption, co-parenting, obligations of sons to pay their father’s debts, the partition of family property, maintenance, guardianship, and charitable donations. In Islam, personal laws apply to matters relating to inheritance, wills, succession, legacies, marriage, wakfs, dowry, guardianship, divorce, gifts, and pre-emption taking roots from Quran.
What will Uniform Civil Code do?
The UCC aims to provide protection to vulnerable sections as envisaged by Ambedkar including women and religious minorities, while also promoting nationalistic fervour through unity. When enacted the code will work to simplify laws that are segregated at present on the basis of religious beliefs like the Hindu code bill, Shariat law, and others. The code will simplify the complex laws around marriage ceremonies, inheritance, succession, adoptions making them one for all.  The same civil law will then be applicable to all citizens irrespective of their faith.

Latest Updates on Uniform Civil Code

U'khand HC grants protection to live-in couple if they register under UCC

The order came as a surprise as the UCC is yet to be implemented in Uttarakhand

Updated On : 20 Jul 2024 | 1:58 PM IST

Parents should be kept informed about live-in couples: U'khand's UCC panel

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill, passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly on February 7, became a law with President Droupadi Murmu giving her assent to it on March 11

Updated On : 12 Jul 2024 | 6:46 PM IST

Uttarakhand govt releases expert committee's report on Uniform Civil Code

While speaking to the media, Singh said, "The details of the UCC are given on the website . You can read the report of the Expert Committee on the website."

Updated On : 12 Jul 2024 | 3:54 PM IST

UCC adopted by Uttarakhand will become equality template for all: CM Dhami

Uttarakhand is the first state in the country after Independence to adopt the UCC

Updated On : 24 Jun 2024 | 6:43 AM IST

Lok Sabha polls 2024: We fulfil our manifesto promises, PM Modi on UCC

Before the Lok Sabha elections were announced, Modi had asked all ministries to prepare a 100-day plan for implementation of projects for the next government

Updated On : 20 May 2024 | 1:50 PM IST

LS polls: PoK will merge with India if BJP gets 400 seats, says Himanta

Addressing an election rally in Jharkhand's Ramgarh, he said the BJP needs to secure over 400 seats to also implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) across the country

Updated On : 16 May 2024 | 6:40 AM IST

Muslims can't claim rights in live-in relationship when having spouse: HC

The petitioners claimed that they were in a live-in relationship but the woman's parents lodged a police complaint accusing Khan of kidnapping and inducing her to marry him

Updated On : 09 May 2024 | 7:04 AM IST

If Hindus still at risk after BJP rule, it shouldn't return to power: Azad

BJP MP-turned-TMC nominee from West Bengal's Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat, also said the issue of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) was a ploy to communalise the polls

Updated On : 01 May 2024 | 10:37 AM IST

Implementation of UCC in country is PM Modi's guarantee, says Amit Shah

They don't even have the courage to hurl a single stone, let alone talk about rivers of blood, Shah said

Updated On : 26 May 2024 | 11:45 PM IST

BJP's Sankalp Patra on UCC will create divisions, claims Chidambaram

The BJP's manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha election,released on Sunday, promises that it will implement UCC if it returns to power after the upcoming general elections

Updated On : 16 Apr 2024 | 10:21 AM IST

BJP will implement UCC after returning to power, says Piyush Goyal

The UCC means having a common law for all citizens of the country that is not based on religion. Personal laws and laws related to inheritance, adoption and succession are to be covered by the common

Updated On : 15 Apr 2024 | 4:45 PM IST

Army cancels seminar on UCC after backlash from political parties in J&K

The Army late Friday sent invitations to the media houses for a seminar on the subject 'Navigating legal frontiers: Understanding Indian Penal Code 2023 and the quest for Uniform Civil Code'

Updated On : 23 Mar 2024 | 6:10 PM IST

UCC Bill passed by Uttarakhand gets President's assent, becomes law

"With the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code law in the state alongside providing equal rights to all citizens, the oppression of women will also be curbed," Dhami said

Updated On : 13 Mar 2024 | 11:33 PM IST

Complexity of prenuptial agreements in India: Why Goa is the only outlier

Persons "domiciled in Goa" are governed by the Portuguese Civil Code, 1867, which is a Uniform Civil Code for the state and pertains to marriage, divorce, protection of children, and succession

Updated On : 08 Mar 2024 | 10:21 PM IST

UCC has vote, support, blessings of state people: Uttarakhand CM Dhami

The Chief Minister further said that just as the holy ganges emerges from Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, in the same manner, the UCC bill has also emerged from the state

Updated On : 24 Feb 2024 | 5:29 PM IST

Highlights: Car securing route for CM Yogi's cavalcade meets with accident

Catch all the latest updates from across the globe here

Updated On : 24 Feb 2024 | 11:41 PM IST

Volume IconTMS Ep627: Uniform Civil Code, insurtech, markets, CAR-T cell therapy

How will Uttarakhand's UCC change things? Can insurtech drive up insurance penetration in India? Will Sebi's new disclosure norms affect FII flows? What is CAR-T cell therapy? All answers here

Updated On : 12 Feb 2024 | 8:00 AM IST

Equal rights

Uttarakhand's UCC needed more thought

Updated On : 08 Feb 2024 | 10:34 PM IST

Explained: How Uniform Civil Code will impact marriage, adoption, inheritance

The UCC has provisions to protect the rights of women in matters of marriage and divorce, empowering them to assert their legal rights more effectively.

Updated On : 08 Feb 2024 | 9:58 AM IST

Uttarakhand Assembly passes Uniform Civil Code Bill during special session

The opposition's proposal for referring the draft legislation to a select committee of the House on the ground that they did not get enough time to study its provisions was rejected

Updated On : 07 Feb 2024 | 11:39 PM IST