Uniform Civil Code under Article 44 has been lying unimplemented as a ‘dead letter’ for the last 70 years, prohibiting India to have a single uniform law in terms of marriage, divorce, succession, inheritance, and Judicial separation.
Despite the Supreme Court recognising the need for a Uniform Civil Code in some of its historic and landmark rulings, subsequent governments have turned a blind eye towards this Constitutional goal. But the Narendra Modi led BJP government had categorically taken a strong stand with regards to the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in their 2014 election manifesto.
And now, the incumbent Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Pushkar Singh Dhami has promised to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) if voted into power.
Vote for BJP and get UCC implemented
Ahead of the Uttarakhand elections, CM Dhami has asserted that if the party retains the power after the upcoming elections, his government would implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
Dhami said that “The Bharatiya Janata Party will ensure the implementation of UCC for the welfare of the state. The move would enhance social harmony and thus improve the state.”
While interacting with media during a press conference in Khatima, CM Dhami stated that the BJP would form a committee to draft the Uniform Civil Code in the state soon after they swear in. “Implementing Uniform Civil Code in Uttarakhand at the earliest will boost equal rights for everyone in the state,” Dhami added.
While defining the importance of UCC, “It’ll enhance social harmony, boost gender justice, strengthen women empowerment & help protect the extraordinary cultural-spiritual identity and environment of the state.”
He further added, “Soon after its swearing-in, new BJP govt will form a committee to prepare a draft of Uniform Civil Code in the state. This UCC will provide for same laws regarding marriages, divorce, land-property and inheritance for all people, irrespective of their faith.”
What is UCC?
As of now, every religion has its own personal law. And thus, it disrupts communal harmony. A UCC is a comprehensive set of common laws for all the religions governing personal matters like marriage, divorce, adoption, succession, and others. It aims at ensuring equality among all religions.
Earlier in November 2021, the Allahabad High Court had highlighted that the UCC is mandatory. The single-judge bench of Justice Suneet Kumar had said that “A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws that have conflicting ideologies.”
The issue of a Uniform Civil Code has been an ideological promise that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has made to the country’s electorate time and again. In the BJP’s 2019 manifesto as well, the party committed itself to bringing in UCC.
Why is it necessary?
In the Himalayan state, there is no prohibition on outsiders buying a property or house within municipal limits or cantonment areas of the hill state. There is also no restriction on the area of land that a person from some other state can purchase in the state.
Uttarakhand is losing its basic structure as a ‘Devbhoomi’. Earlier as reported by TFI, districts of Udham Singh Nagar, Champawat and Pithoragarh, in the Kumaon region bordering Nepal are facing rapid demographic changes.
As per the 2011 census, the population of a specific religious community registered a 2.5-fold increase. In January 2021, security agencies sent a report to the Home Ministry that described the three districts as vulnerable.
Due to the encroachment, communal harmony is severely disturbed in a few areas. and thus, it becomes mandatory to implement UCC in the state.