New Delhi, February 06, 2024 : The Uttarakhand Assembly is set to present a groundbreaking legislation on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) today, with Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami spearheading the mission. The proposed UCC, aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas’ and ‘Ek Bharat, Sreshtha Bharat,’ aims to benefit all sections of society.
Government Panel’s Report
A specially appointed panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, has compiled a four-volume, 749-page report, featuring a myriad of recommendations. The extensive process involved collecting over 2.33 lakh written feedback pieces online and conducting more than 70 public forums, engaging with approximately 60,000 people to shape the draft.
Key Recommendations in UCC Draft
The UCC draft covers various aspects of civil life, advocating for a ban on polygamy and child marriage, a standardized marriageable age for girls across all faiths, and a uniform divorce process. These proposals, focused on fostering gender equality and social cohesion, will be deliberated during the ongoing special four-day assembly session.
Inclusive Scope Beyond Religious Boundaries
If enacted, Uttarakhand will become the second state in post-Independence India to adopt the UCC, following Goa. The proposed UCC for Uttarakhand goes beyond religious boundaries, extending adoption rights to all, including Muslim women. It seeks to ban practices such as halala and iddat, promote live-in relationships, and simplify adoption procedures.
Highlights of UCC Features
- Legal Framework: Encompassing marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws.
- Adoption Rights: Extended to everyone, including Muslim women.
- Ban on Practices: Including halala and iddat.
- Registration of Live-in Relationships: Mandatory under the new law.
Equality and Inclusion
The UCC draft ensures equal property rights for sons and daughters, eliminates distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children, and treats adopted and biologically born children equally. In case of a person’s demise, the proposed UCC guarantees equal property rights for the spouse, children, and parents, a departure from previous laws limiting such rights.
Exclusions and Clarifications
The draft excludes population control measures and the Scheduled Tribes, constituting 3% of Uttarakhand’s population.
In summary, the proposed Uniform Civil Code for Uttarakhand aims to create a harmonized legal framework, promoting equality and inclusivity across various aspects of civil life. If adopted, it will mark a historic milestone for the state and set an example for the rest of the country.