Ministry seeks law panel’s opinion on uniform civil code

July 02, 2016 04:14 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:02 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

The Union Law Ministry has asked the Law Commission to examine in detail all issues pertaining to the Uniform Civil Code and submit a report to the government.

Through an office memorandum dated June 17, the Legislative Department has made a reference to the Law Commission for an in-depth examination of “matters in relation to Uniform Civil Code”.

Speaking to the India News TV channel, Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda confirmed the Law Ministry initiative.

“The issue has been discussed in and outside Parliament. It has also been on the BJP’s agenda. Therefore, the Law Commission has been asked to conduct a detailed study and file a report. It may take six months to a year,” he said.

The Minister said a decision on the future course of action would be taken on the basis of the Law Commission report. “If it is required in the larger interest of the country, we will hold consultations [with stakeholders]..,” he said.

“Even the Preamble of our Constitution and Article 44 of the Constitution do say that there should be a Uniform Civil Code...it needs to have a wider consultation,” he had said, adding that it would take some time.

Implementation of a common code is part of the BJP’s election manifesto.

Party’s national secretary Shrikant Sharma told the media that there should be an open debate on the issue and that the uniform civil code is required. “It has been opposed due to vote bank politics,” he said.

Mr. Gowda had earlier also said the issue could be referred to the Law Commission, stating that a wider consultation will be held with various personal law boards and other stakeholders to evolve a consensus.

Divisive ploy: Congress

Responding to the development, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said: “Each time there is an election around the corner, the BJP will raise issues like Ayodhya, a Common Civil Code or (abrogation of ) Article 370 to create a divisive atmosphere.”

He said if the government was serious about enacting a Uniform Civil Code, it must be supported by a “near universal consensus”.

“If genuine efforts are made by the government, maybe something can be achieved, but this is stuntbaazi . But the real question is: What steps has the government taken before chucking the issue unto the political domain?” Mr. Singhvi asked.

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