Explained: What is Uniform Civil Code Bill, 2020?
New Delhi, July 23: Bharatiya Janata Party's Kirodi Lal Meena on Friday will introduce The Uniform Civil Code Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha as a Private Member Bill.
Uniform Civil Code in India is a widely debated topic lately since the first petition was filed in 2019 to seek for framing of a UCC to promote national integration and gender justice, equality, and dignity of women.
What is the Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?
A Uniform Civil Code means that all sections of the society irrespective of their religion shall be treated equally according to a national civil code, which shall be applicable to all uniformly.
They cover areas like- Marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, adoption and succession of the property. It is based on the premise that there is no connection between religion and law in modern civilization.
Reportedly, many other countries including France, United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Australia, Germany, etc. already have similar laws in place which ensures the principle of one country, one law. Meanwhile, in India many are demanding the same and it seems to be only a matter of time that a bill gets introducted in the Parliament by the ruling party.
What is Article 44?
Article 44 corresponds with Directive Principles of State Policy stating that State shall endeavour to provide for its citizens a uniform civil code (UCC) throughout the territory of India.
The Hindu code bill -The bill was drafted by Dr.B R Ambedkar to reform Hindu laws, which legalized divorce, opposed polygamy, gave rights of inheritance to daughters. Amidst intense opposition of the code, a diluted version was passed via four different laws.
Succession Act- The Hindu Succession Act, 1956, originally did not give daughters inheritance rights in ancestral property. They could only ask for a right to sustenance from a joint Hindu family. But this disparity was removed by an amendment to the Act on September 9, 2005
The Hindu Marriage Act
Minority and Guardianship Act
Adoptions and Maintenance Act
Special Marriage Act:
It was enacted in 1954 which provided for civil marriages outside of any religious personal law.
Shah Bano case (1985):-
A 73-year-old woman called Shah Bano was divorced by her husband using triple talaq (saying "I divorce thee" three times) and was denied maintenance. She approached the courts and the District Court and the High Court ruled in her favour. This led to her husband appealing to the Supreme Court saying that he had fulfilled all his obligations under Islamic law.
The Supreme Court ruled in her favour in 1985 under the "maintenance of wives, children and parents" provision (Section 125) of the All India Criminal Code, which applied to all citizens irrespective of religion. Further, It recommended that a uniform civil code be set up.