Can't Lay Down Rigid Time Frame To Implement 'Uniform Civil Code' Due To Sensitivity Involved: Centre Tells Rajyasabha

Sparsh Upadhyay

5 Aug 2021 4:24 PM GMT

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  • Cant Lay Down Rigid Time Frame To Implement Uniform Civil Code Due To Sensitivity Involved: Centre Tells Rajyasabha

    In view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved, it won't be possible to lay down any rigid time frame to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the Country, the Union Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju told Rajyasabha today.The Union Law Minister was replying to a written question raised by RS MP P. V. Abdul Wahab as to whether the Centre was planning to implement UCC...

    In view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved, it won't be possible to lay down any rigid time frame to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the Country, the Union Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju told Rajyasabha today.

    The Union Law Minister was replying to a written question raised by RS MP P. V. Abdul Wahab as to whether the Centre was planning to implement UCC "any time soon".

    To which, the Law Minister replied thus:

    "Article 44 of the Constitution provides that State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. In view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved, and it also requires in-depth study of the provisions of various personal laws governing different communities, the Government requested the Law Commission of India to undertake the examination of various issues relating to uniform civil code and to make recommendation thereof. Hence it may not be possible to lay down any rigid time frame in the matter".

    Last year too, the Government had stated in the Parliament that it was 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.

    Recently, the Delhi High Court expressed the need for having a Uniform Civil Code after noting that the Indian society is gradually becoming homogenous while the traditional barriers are slowly disappearing.

    The Bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh observed,

    "In modern Indian society which is gradually becoming homogenous, the traditional barriers of religion, community and caste are slowly dissipating. The youth of India belonging to various communities, tribes, castes or religions who solemnise their marriages ought not to be forced to struggle with issues arising due to conflicts in various personal laws, especially in relation to marriage and divorce."
    Furthermore, it said:
    "The hope expressed in Article 44 of the Constitution that the State shall secure for its citizens Uniform Civil Code ought not to remain a mere hope."

    Relying on the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in Ms Jordon Diengdeh v. SS Chopra, (1985) 3 SCC 62 wherein it was observed that Article 44 of the Constitution needs to be implemented in its letter and spirit, the High Court directed thus:

    "The Supreme Court had, in 1985 directed that the judgment in Ms. Jordon Diengdeh (supra) to be placed before the Ministry of Law to take appropriate steps. However, more than three decades have passed since then and it is unclear as to what steps have been taken in this regard till date. Accordingly, let the copy of the present judgment be communicated to the Secretary, Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India, for necessary action as deemed appropriate."

    Read the complete report here: "Indian Society Becoming Homogenous, Traditional Barriers Of Religion Slowly Dissipating": Delhi High Court Bats For Uniform Civil Code

    The Supreme Court in the year 2019, 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 endeavor 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.

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