Civil code move is aimed at polarisation: AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) will be convening a meeting, soon after the festival of Eid next week, to formulate a response to the Law Ministry’s move to ask the Law Commission to look into the issue of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

AIMPLB member Kamal Faruqui told The Hindu that while the Board will be deposing before the Law Commission on the matter, he was convinced that the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls had sparked off the current move on one of the core ideological issues of the BJP.

Dividing voters

“The BJP is trying to make it seem as though there is a strong case of gender justice behind this move, but that is not so. The move is clearly aimed at the Uttar Pradesh elections, to polarise voters on communal lines,” he said.

“Despite the Muslim Personal Law, those wanting to avail the protections of the civil laws governing marriage can do so under the Special Marriages Act and also have the protection of other laws pertaining to protection of women like section 498A that protects women against demands for dowry, torture etc,” he said.

“Now to cite a Supreme Court comment on UCC, made eight months ago, to debate the issue is suspect. The government behaved more than circumspectly when it came to the practice of Santhara (voluntary death through fasting followed by the Jain community) when the Rajasthan High Court termed it suicide. There is a double standard in dealing with matters of faith by this government,” he said.

The Supreme Court is still hearing the case on Santhara, after it stayed the Rajasthan high court order deeming the practice as suicide.

Union Law Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi refused to comment on Mr. Faruqui’s charges.

“We have written to the Law Commission to examine all aspects of the matter, and that is all I am prepared to say this point,” Mr Gowda told The Hindu from Bengaluru.

The Board plans to convene a meeting after Eid to formulate a response to Law Ministry’s move