What is Uniform Civil Code? Why Delhi HC calls for a Uniform Civil Code?

India Society

What is Uniform Civil Code?

The Uniform Civil Code are set of laws which will be applicable to every citizen of all religion in matters including marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. Uniform Civil Code directs the government to formulate one law for the whole nation and that will be applicable to all communities in their personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. Article 44 of the Directive Principles of the State Policy defines Uniform Civil code. The Supreme Court also had described that the founders of our Constitution wanted a Uniform Civil Code to be followed in India. But unfortunately, till now no action has been taken in this regard.

Delhi High Court on Uniform Civil Code?

Delhi High Court observed recently that there is a need to implement the Uniform Civil Code in India. As per the observation of high court, it is the right time to implement Uniform Civil Code in the country, the High Court also had sent the judgement to the Union Law Ministry to take appropriate steps as deemed fit to create the Uniform Civil Code. As per the court, the modern Indian society is constantly becoming more and more “homogeneous”, dissipating “traditional barriers of religion, community and caste, in view of these changing paradigms, a uniform civil code is necessary. On July 7 Justice M Prathiba Singh given her judgement against a plea involving the applicability of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 to the members of Meena community. According to her, there is requirement for a code which will be common for all citizens of India.

Uniform Civil Code in Goa

Goa is the only state in India which have Uniform Civil Code. The Portuguese Civil Code of 1867 applies to all the residents of Goa, irrespective of their religion or ethnicity. This was introduced by the Portuguese in 1879 as Goa family law but after the liberation of Goa this law was retained. Later it became Special Marriage Act. Polygamy is punishable as per the law. This act maintains equality of property rights between husband and wife in time of divorce.  

Uniform Civil Code will boost national integrity and unity. It also aims to provide protection to vulnerable sections of the society. The code will no doubt simplify the complex laws of marriage, inheritance, succession, adoptions by making them one for all.  The same civil law will be applicable to all the citizens of India irrespective of their religion and ethnicity. After all Article 37 says that the Directive Principles are “fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws”.

At last I can say Uniform Civil Code should be implemented as soon as possible for national integrity. After all, why we will follow religious personal laws in a secular country like India?

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