Issues regarding family matters are on a rise and therefore there is a need for a uniform civil code in India which will replace the personal laws which were mainly based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in India with a common set of rules which will  govern every citizen. For this, Current institutions need to be modernized, democratized and strengthened for this change and sincere efforts towards women empowerment have to be taken for all women of all religions. According to Article 44 of the constitution, it is the State who shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. The woman activists in the beginning of the twentieth century had put forward the demand for a uniform civil code along with women’s rights, equality and secularism.

The debate for a uniform civil code actually dates back to the colonial period in India. The Lex Loci Report of October 1840 emphasised the importance and necessity of uniformity in codification of Indian law, relating to crimes, evidences and contract but it recommended that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims should be kept outside such codification. The Shah Bano case was a controversial maintenance lawsuit in India, in which a supreme court delivered a judgment favoring maintenance given to an aggrieved divorced Muslim woman. Under that case, the plaintiff was a victim of instant triple talaq and filed a suit under section 125 of Crpc in which she won the right to alimony of Rs.500 from her husband.

Following the judgement, her husband filed an appeal petition claiming that Shah Bano was not his responsibility as he had a second marriage which was also permitted under Islamic Law. The Supreme Court stated that  there was no conflict between the provisions of section 125 and those of the Muslim Personal Law on the question of the Muslim husband’s obligation to provide maintenance for a divorced wife who was unable to maintain herself regardless of caste, creed, or religion.

The advantages of an uniform civil code are that of providing equal status to all citizens, gender equality, accommodate the aspirations of the young population, support the national integration, bypass the contentious issue of reform of existing personal laws and many more. The most controversial issues in twenty-first century in the Indian politics is the debate for a uniform civil code. The major problems for implementing it lies in religious laws including community and caste. Under Article 44 of the constitution, it mentions the need for strengthening the unity and integrity of the country, rejection of different laws for different communities, importance for gender equality and reforming the archaic personal laws of Muslims which allow unilateral divorce and polygamy. As on October, 2015,the Supreme Court of India asserted the need of a Uniform Civil Code and said that, “This cannot be accepted, otherwise every religion will say it has a right to decide various issues as a matter of its personal law. We don’t agree with this at all. It has to be done through a decree of a court”.

[1]  on 28.06.21 at 18:15hrs.

[2]  on 29.06.21 at  18:22hrs.

[3] 1985 SCR (3) 844.

[4] visited on 29-06-2021 at 18:41hrs.

[5]  on 29.06.21 at 18:45hrs.

[6]  on 29.06.21 at 18:57hrs.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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