Uniform Civil Code is a highly “sensitive” issue in the country where people belonging to different races, castes and communities reside, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has said.

“The question of Uniform Civil Code is a very-very sensitive issue. India is a country which has a multifarious race, caste and community,” the CJI expressed his views while speaking at the M K Nambiar Memorial Lecture here.

Appreciating the utter care and sensitivities required in countries like India when it comes to enacting and implementing legislation, he said that even Britishers took thirty years to implement Indian Penal Code.

“It took almost thirty years for Britishers to implement the Indian Penal Code after its codification in the beginning of 1830,” he said.

Former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee said an academic discussion on uniform civil code issue was always welcome but the challenge must be met by the Legislature adding that “there cannot be unilateral imposition of the Uniform Civil Code“.

Article 44 of the Indian Constitution says “The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”.

Shimon Shetreet, a faculty at Hebrew University in Jerusalem applauded the efforts of Indian judiciary in resolving disputes pertaining to personal laws but cautioned that it was the realm of legislature and it should come forward to assume the responsibility.

“Legislative process is more amenable to dialogue to solve the issue,” he said.

Hiram Hodosh, Dean of law, University of Utah, however, proposed for mediation of uniform civil code saying that we must look for more creative options rather than replicating the existing one for countries like India.

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