A detached approach is crucial for a uniform civil code

Source: The post is based on the article “A detached approach is crucial for a uniform civil code” published in the Livemint on 20th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Indian Constitution—significant provisions and basic structure.

Relevance: About Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

News: Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India can be taken into consideration in India only after addressing a slew of concerns.

What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?
Read here: Explained | The Uniform Civil Code

A UCC envisions an exhaustive and comprehensive statute of personal laws that will govern Indian society uniformly on issues relating to marriage, maintenance, succession, guardianship, adoption and other related matters. It would encourage joint proprietorship over all benefits obtained by spouses and aim to protect vulnerable sections of society as envisaged by Ambedkar.

What are the status and judicial views on UCC in India?
Must Read: The Debate on Uniform Civil Code – Explained, pointwise
What is the view of the constituent Assembly on UCC?

The Constituent Assembly was also divided over a UCC.

Those who believed that the state and religion were of no concern to each other called for the inclusion of a UCC under fundamental rights. They argued that different personal laws drawn from religious belief would split the state into watertight compartments and result in multiplicity of laws.

Others argued that the individual right to choice of a personal code should be a fundamental one.

Finally, the fundamental rights sub-committee categorized a UCC as a directive principle. They followed Ambedkar’s equal-respect idea of secularism, granting religious liberty to all communities.

What are the benefits of implementing UCC?

If implemented well, the UCC would promise a) communal peace, b) national integration, c) equal treatment of and rights for women in inheritance and divorce, d) consistent marriage and divorce norms, among other benefits.

Overall, the UCC will address all loopholes arising out of variegated personal laws by simplifying the code and offering a coherent legal system.

What should be done to implement UCC?

A one-size-fits-all approach may have worked for countries like Italy, the US and UK, but such policies might not work well in a country that is as diverse in its practices as India.

So, to implement it, India needs clear drafting of UCC’s details. This might help to scrutinize the issue from a detached perspective and address it in a phased manner.

 

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