UNIFORM CIVIL CODE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     7th February 2024        
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Context: The Uttarakhand government introduced the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill in the House, aiming to establish a uniform legal framework governing personal matters irrespective of religion.

Key Provisions of the UCC Bill:

  • Scope of the Law: The UCC bill covers various personal matters including marriage, divorce, live-in relationships, and succession, regardless of religion.
  • Compulsory Registration:The bill proposes mandatory registration of marriages under the state government's official mechanism.

oLive-in relationships are also recognized and must be registered within a month, failing which could lead to imprisonment and fines under the legislation.

  • Criminalization of Unregistered Live-in Relationships: Staying in a live-in relationship for over a month without registration is criminalized, punishable with up to three months of imprisonment.
  • Restrictions on Polygamy and Early Marriage: The bill prohibits polygamy and early marriage, aligning with the proposed uniform civil code standards.

oIt sets the legal age for marriage at 18 years for girls and 21 years for boys.

  • Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage: Extra-judicial forms of divorce, including various forms of 'talaq,' are criminalized under the bill, with penalties of up to three years in jail.

oOnly court orders are recognized for the dissolution of marriage, ensuring legal processes are followed.

Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

  • Meaning: 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. 
  • Article 44: Of the Constitution, under Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
  • Supreme Court judgment:

oSC empahised the need of UCC in cases like: Shah Bano case (1985), Sarla Mudgal Case(1995) etc.

oShayara Bano v. Union of India (Triple Talaq Case): SC held triple talaq as unconstitutional and un-Islamic, raising the question of the Uniform Civil Code to stop such personal law practices.