From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Shah Bano Case, Article 44
Mains level : Need for UCC
Favouring the introduction of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), the Delhi High Court has said the Indian youth need not be forced to struggle with issues arising due to conflicts in various personal laws in relation to marriage and divorce.
Why did the HC promote this idea?
- The modern Indian society was gradually becoming homogenous, the traditional barriers of religion, community and caste are slowly dissipating said the Delhi HC.
- The youth of India is often forced to struggle with issues arising due to conflicts in various personal laws, especially in relation to marriage and divorce.
Shah Bano reference
- In the Shah Bano case, the apex court had said that a common civil code would help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to laws having conflicting ideologies.
- It had also observed that the State was charged with the duty of securing UCC for the citizens of the country.
What is a Uniform Civil Code?
- A UCC is one that would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc.
- Article 44, one of the directive principles of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
- These, as defined in Article 37, are not justiciable (not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.
Why need UCC?
- UCC would provide equal status to all citizens
- It would promote gender parity in Indian society.
- UCC would accommodate the aspirations of the young population who imbibe liberal ideology.
- Its implementation would thus support the national integration.
Issues with UCC
- There are practical difficulties due to religious and cultural diversity in India.
- The UCC is often perceived by the minorities as an encroachment on religious freedom.
- It is often regarded as interference of the state in personal matters of the minorities.
- Experts often argue that the time is not ripe for Indian society to embrace such UCC.