Introduction of Article 44, Uniform Civil Code of the Indian Constitution: The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for the establishment of a new law for India that refers to all religious sects on problems such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, & adoption. The law is set out In Art. 14 of the Indian Constitution, which implies that the govt should work hard to ensure that Indian people have access to a uniform civil code across the country.
For more than a century, the concern has dominated political discussion and discourse, and it is a primary concern for the BJP, which has been pushing for legislative changes in Parliament. The saffron party was the first one to promise that if elected, UCC would be executed, and the issue would be included in their Lok Sabha election manifesto for 2019.
The Delhi High Court, in favor of the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), stated that the Indian youth should not be forced to deal with issues arising from disputes in different personal laws relating to marriage and divorce.
The High Court recommended this idea
According to the Delhi High Court, modern Indian society has become more coherent, with traditional barriers such as religious practice, society, and class progressively fading away.
The youth of India are frequently forced to grapple with problems arising from disputes in various personal laws, particularly those relating to marriage and divorce.
In reference to Shah Bano case
In the Shah Bano case, S.C. ruled that a common civil code would improve national unity by minimizing uneven loyalty to laws with opposing ideas.
It went on to say that the state was in charge of providing UCC for all citizens of the country.
Significance of Uniform Civil Code
The purpose of Article 44 of the Indian Constitution’s Directive Principles was to eliminate inequality towards marginalized communities and to bring disparate cultural groupings together across the country. While drafting the Constitution, Dr. B R Ambedkar stated that while a UCC is necessary, it must remain voluntary for the time being, and therefore Article 35 of the draft Resolution was added as part of D.PS.P( Directive Principles of State Policy )in Part IV of the Constitution of India as Article 44. It was enshrined in the Constitution as a prerequisite that would be met whenever the nation was willing to embrace it and the UCC could gain social acceptance.
In his statement to the Drafting Committee, Ambedkar said, “No one should ever be concerned that if the State has the authority, the State would then instantaneously continue to execute…that authority in a way that Islamists, Christians, and any other society may find abhorrent. It’d be a crazy government if it did so, in my opinion.
Origins of the Uniform Civil Code
The UCC’s origins can be traced back to British Rule in India, because when the British government issued a report in 1835 emphasizing the necessity of uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to offenses, proof, & contracts, particularly suggesting that personal laws of Muslims and Hindus be excluded from such codification.
In 1941, the government established the B N Rau Committee to promulgate Hindu law due to the rise in statutory provisions relating to personal challenges at the end of Colonial rule. The Hindu Law Commission has been appointed to investigate the requirements of prevalent Hindu laws. The commission recommended, in compliance with scripture, an enshrined Hindu law that would grant equality to women. The 1937 Act was evaluated, and a committee suggested a civil code for Marriage ceremonies and succession.
The Hindu Code Bill, and its importance
The Rau Committee report was presented to a select committee headed by B R Ambedkar in 1951, shortly after the Constitution came into force, for consideration. The Hindu Code Bill lapsed as negotiations proceeded, and it was reintroduced in 1952. The Hindu Succession Act was passed in 1956 to modify & regulate the legislation governing intestate or without a will succession amongst Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews, & Sikhs. The Act changed Hindu personal law, giving women wider property ownership rights. It granted females estate rights in their father’s estate.
For a man who dies intestate, the general principles of succession under the Act 1956 are that successors in Class I inherit before heirs in other classes. In 2005, the Act was amended to include more descendants, promoting women to Class I heirs. A daughter is given the same share as a son is allotted.
The distinction between Civil & Criminal Laws?
Whereas India’s criminal laws are universal and apply to everyone regardless of cultural and religious beliefs, the civil laws are affected by faith. Personal laws that apply in civil disputes have always been enforced as per constitutional rules, although being influenced by religious sources.
What are personal Laws?
Laws that apply to a particular group of individuals based on their religion, caste, belief, and faith are enacted after due deliberation of traditions, customs, and holy books. Hindu & Muslim personal laws are derived from and have authority over spiritual ancient writings.
Personal laws in Hinduism apply to legal concerns such as succession, testamentary, marriage, adoption, co-parenting, sons’ responsibilities to pay their father’s liabilities, the division of the family estate, maintenance, parental responsibility, & charity donations. Personal laws in Muslims implement intestate succession, bequests, succession, legacies, marriage, wakfs, dowry, care and protection, divorce, gifts, and pre-emption, all of which have their roots in the Quran.
What effect will the Uniform Civil Code have?
The UCC attempts to safeguard disadvantaged groups, including females & minority religions, as envisioned by Ambedkar, while simultaneously boosting nationalistic zeal via unity. The code, once enacted, would endeavor to unify laws that are currently divided based on religious views, such as the Hindu code bill, Shariat law, and some others. The code would make the complicated regulations of wedding ceremonies, succession, inheritance, and adoptions easier to understand and apply to everyone. All individuals, regardless of their beliefs, would be subject to the same civil law.
The Delhi High Court recently called for a Uniform Civil Code and urged that the Central Government act quickly.
The Delhi High Court, emphasizing the significance of a Common Civil Code, asserted that adolescents from diverse communities, tribal groups, castes, or religious sects who tie the knot “should not have to be compelled to face numerous dilemmas with matters” emerging from dispute in different personal laws, especially when it relates to marriage & divorce.
The High Court has directed that its determination be communicated to the Secretary of the Minister of State of Law and Justice “for appropriate measures as deemed appropriate”.
The guiding principles of the Constitution show diversity while seeking to create uniformity among individuals of many faiths.
While a consistent legal system is desirable, it may be harmful to the country’s unity and integrity.
As a consequence, only those aspects of traditions and customs that harm other people must be codified into a single rule.
Some good and equitable features of personal laws should be incorporated into the unified law.
Furthermore, in order to maintain the culture and traditions associated with it, good customs and traditions must be preserved. It will help India maintain its power of universal brotherhood.
In a democracy and the rule of law, slow progressive development and order are required.