The Law Commission of India has once again opened the floor for public and recognised religious organisations to share their opinions on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) within the next month. In a public notice issued on June 14, individuals are invited to submit their comments online or via email. This move holds significant importance as sources indicate that the UCC is a prominent agenda of the Narendra Modi government, particularly in light of the upcoming 2024 general elections.
The UCC refers to a standardized set of laws governing personal matters, including marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, and succession, applicable to all citizens regardless of their religion. Currently, these aspects are regulated by different laws based on religious affiliations. The implementation of a UCC aims to eliminate these distinct personal laws.
Several states under BJP rule, such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh, have already established their own commissions to study the feasibility of implementing the UCC. The Bharatiya Janata Party has consistently promised the UCC’s enactment as an electoral commitment during recent state elections.
According to the public notice, the 22nd Law Commission of India is currently examining the subject matter of the Uniform Civil Code in response to a reference from the Ministry of Law & Justice dated June 17, 2016. The notice also mentions that the 21st Law Commission had previously examined the UCC and sought the views of all stakeholders through appeals and questionnaires issued on October 7, 2016, along with subsequent public appeals and notices in 2018.
Considering the significant response received by the Commission, it published a consultation paper titled “Reforms of Family Law” on August 31, 2018. Given the passage of more than three years since the release of the consultation paper and the relevance and importance of the subject, along with various court orders pertaining to the UCC, the 22nd Law Commission has reopened the discussion by seeking fresh views from the public and religious organisations.
Table: Previous Law Commission Actions on Uniform Civil Code
|Ministry of Law & Justice refers the matter to the 22nd Law Commission
|21st Law Commission solicits views through appeals and questionnaires
|Consultation paper on “Reforms of Family Law” published
|22nd Law Commission seeks fresh views through public notice