As deadline nears, Law Commission gets 46 lakh responses on Uniform Civil Code

Implementation of the Univorm Civil Code has been part of the BJP’s election manifestos

Updated - July 11, 2023 07:00 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2023 06:23 pm IST - New Delhi

A man holds a banner during a rally organised by All India Muslim Personal Law Board  against the Uniform Civil Code, in Kolkata. File

A man holds a banner during a rally organised by All India Muslim Personal Law Board against the Uniform Civil Code, in Kolkata. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

As the deadline to send views on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) ends in two days, the Law Commission has so far received nearly 46 lakh responses, sources said on July 11. The Commission is also likely to call certain organisations and people for a personal hearing in the coming days. Some of these invitation letters have already been sent, they said.

Till July 10 evening, the panel had received nearly 46 lakh responses.

Also read: Explained | The Uniform Civil Code 

On June 14, the Law Commission initiated a fresh consultation process on the UCC by seeking views from stakeholders, including public and recognised religious organisations, on the politically sensitive issue. Earlier, the 21st Law Commission, the term of which ended in August 2018, examined the issue and solicited the views of all stakeholders on two occasions. Subsequently, a consultation paper on “Reforms of Family Law” was issued in August 2018. “Since more than three years have lapsed from the date of issuance of the said consultation paper, bearing in mind the relevance and importance of the subject and also the various court orders on the subject, the 22nd Law Commission of India considered it expedient to deliberate afresh over the subject,” the panel had said in a ‘public notice’.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee earlier this month, representatives of the law panel had defended the fresh consultation exercise, noting that the preceding commission had brought out its suggestions in 2018 and its term had also come to an end. That is why, they have begun a fresh initiative which is essentially “informational”.

In its consultation paper issued on August 31, 2018, the previous Law Commission headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan (retd.) said while the diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups or weaker sections of the society must not be “disprivileged” in the process. It said the Commission dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code “which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”.

Also read: Muslim organisations divided on Uniform Civil Code

The consultation paper said most countries are now moving towards recognition of difference, and the mere existence of difference does not imply discrimination but is indicative of a robust democracy. In short, a Uniform Civil Code means having a common law for all citizens of the country that is not based on religion. Personal laws and laws related to inheritance, adoption and succession are likely to be covered by a common code.

Implementation of the common code has been part of the BJP’s election manifestos.

Uttarakhand is set to come out with its own uniform civil code in the coming days.

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