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UCC draft for U'khand ready to be submitted to govt: Panel head Desai

Besides, the Committee has tried to understand the "finer nuances" of the various customary practices that prevail in different parts of Uttarakhand


Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The draft of the proposed Uniform Civil Code for Uttarakhand is complete and would soon be submitted to the state government, Justice (retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai said on Friday.
Desai, who heads the committee of experts set up by the Uttarakhand government last year, said the panel has drafted the code taking into account all shades of opinions and looking into various statutes and uncodified laws, including the statutory framework in select countries.
Besides, the Committee has tried to understand the "finer nuances" of the various customary practices that prevail in different parts of Uttarakhand.
"It gives me immense pleasure to inform you that the drafting of the proposed uniform civil code for Uttarkahnd is now complete," Desai told a press conference here.
"The report of the committee along with the draft code would soon be printed and submitted to the government of Uttarakhand," she added.
The Uttarakhand government had constituted a committee of experts under retired Supreme Court judge Desai in May last year, to examine the various existing laws regulating personal civil matters of the residents of Uttarakhand and to prepare draft law or laws or suggest changes in existing laws on such subjects as marriage, divorce, property rights, succession, inheritance, adoption, maintenance, custody, and guardianship.
A notification in this regard was issued on May 27, 2022, and the terms of reference were notified on June 10 last year.
Replying to questions, Desai refused to share the details of the draft UCC or the committee's report, saying it has to be first submitted to the state government.
"Our emphasis is to ensure gender equality, with keeping women, children and disabled persons in focus. We have tried to bring everyone on an equal footing with elimination of arbitrariness and discrimination," she, however, said.
Desai said that the committee has studied the existing laws in various countries including Muslim countries but refused to share their names.
"We have seen everything, studied personal laws. We have also studied the Law Commission's report. If you read our draft you will feel that the committee has considered everything," she said.
The draft, if implemented, "will strengthen the secular fabric of our country." Desai said the committee had held its first meeting on July 4 last year in Delhi and since then, the Committee has met 63 times.
A sub-committee was constituted last year to elicit public opinion through written submissions as well as by public dialogue programmes, she said.
Desai said the sub-committee began its public outreach programme from the border tribal village Mana and visited 40 different places in the Uttrakhand covering all the districts, which culminated in a public discussion in Delhi on June 14 with participation from the residents of Uttarakhand staying in the Delhi and national capital region.
The sub-committee met 143 times in Dehradun and other places, she added. Besides, Desai said the committee also interacted with the representatives of political parties, state statutory commissions as well as with leaders of various religious denominations.
"While the sub committee interacted with about 20,000 people during the public consultation exercise, the committee received altogether 2.31 lakh written submissions from people," she added.
Desai said the Uttarakhand UCC committee also held an interaction with the chairperson of the Law Commission and its members on June 2 in Delhi.
"The chairperson of the Law Commission of India had requested for an interaction with the members of the Expert Committee. This interaction was held on June 2 wherein members as well as chairpersons of both the Law Commission and the Expert Committee were present," she told reporters.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 30 2023 | 5:26 PM IST

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