Allahabad High Court Decision on Unform Civil Court Code

What is the news?

The Allahabad High Court in its judgement directed the Centre to consider the constitution of a committee or commission for implementing the mandate of Article 44.

What is a Uniform Civil Code? Why India needs it?
Read here: Uniform Civil Code
What is the view of Allahabad High Court?

Need for Uniform Code: On hearing petitions filed by inter-faith couples, the court observed a steep rise in inter-community, inter-caste and interfaith marriages and called for a comprehensive Family Code which is in conformity with the changing times.

Constitutionality of law: The court observed The Act (The Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021)  does not prohibit inter-faith marriages. It only makes them tedious because of the requirement of approval from district authorities. Moreover, such a requirement can only be a directory, as making it mandatory would violate Article 14 and Article 21.

Power of marriage registrar: The court directed the marriage registrar and marriage officers to register the marriage of the couples without insisting or awaiting approval of the competent district authority with regard to conversion.

Authorization: The court said that consent of the family or the community or the clan or the State or executive is not necessary if the marriage is legal and lawful.

Direction to authorities: The court ordered the police officials to ensure the safety of the couples and provide protection to them if needed. It also orders the private and State respondents from interfering with the life, liberty, and privacy of the couples to live as man and woman.

What did the State government say?

Approval of the marriage was not obtained from the District Magistrate. Because the marriage of an inter-faith couple cannot be registered without district authorities making an inquiry that conversion was voluntary and there was no coercion.

Source: This post is based on the article “Allahabad High Court Decision on Unform Civil Court Code” published in  The Hindu on 22nd November 2021.

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