The Government is committed to honour the Constitutional mandate to bring Uniform Civil Code, Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad stated in Lok Sabha today.
The minister was responding to the query by MP Dushyant Singh. He asked whether the Government has plans to introduce bill on Uniform Civil Code this year.
"Article 44 of the Constitution of India states that the state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India. The Government is committed to honour this Constitutional mandate. However, this requires wide scale consultations.", the Minister stated in his reply.
In response to his another query, the Minister said that the Government plans to abolish minority status accorded to certain religions under the Uniform Civil Code.
The Supreme Court, in a judgment delivered last year, had observed that no attempt has been made yet to frame a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens of the country despite exhortations by it. "It is interesting to note that whereas the founders of the Constitution in Article 44 in Part IV dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy had hoped and expected that the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territories of India, till date no action has been taken in this regard. Though Hindu laws were codified in the year 1956, there has been no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens of the country despite exhortations of this Court in the case of Mohd. Ahmed Khan vs. Shah Bano and Sarla Mudgal & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors.", the court had observed.
In its consultation paper on 'Reform of Family Law' , the Law Commission had highlighted the importance of recognition of difference that exists in the Indian society and opined that formulation of a Uniform Civil Code is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage. "While diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups, or weaker sections of the society must not be dis-privileged in the process. Resolution of this conflict does not mean abolition of difference. This Commission has therefore dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage. Most countries are now moving towards recognition of difference, and the mere existence of difference does not imply discrimination, but is indicative of a robust democracy.", it had stated.