The Big Picture – Uniform Civil Code: What’s the blueprint?
The debate about this controversial issue has been on this country for decades dating back to even before independence.
The need for it has been underlined even in the constitution under Article 44 as a Directive Principle.
However, despite periodic debate over it none of the governments have taken it up seriously, despite the Supreme Court nudging it to do so.
The Apex court’s latest call to enact a common civil code also questions the legal recognition of “personal laws” relating to marriage and divorce in various religious communities.
The NDA government is planning to start consultations to evolve a Uniform Civil Code.
The BJP in its election manifesto had pledged its resolve to bring about a common code.
It is being looked at as a Hindu- Muslim issue. Hence, it is being delayed.
Government should adopt a consultative process by consulting various stakeholders to evolve a common code.
Parliament represents the collective will of the country.
Issues related to marriage, divorce, separation and inheritance have to be addressed first.
A draft should be put up in public domain for discussion.
Hindu nationalists have repeatedly contended that a separate Muslim code is tantamount to preferential treatment and demanded a uniform civil code.
The Shah Bano case had spurred the debate on the Uniform Civil Code in India. It triggered controversy about the extent of having different civil codes for different religions, especially for Muslims in India.