Law Commission Initiates Consultation On Uniform Civil Code, Seeks Views From Public And Religious Bodies

The Centre said that the law panel has sought views on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) 'bearing in mind the relevance and importance of the subject and also the various Court orders on the subject'.

The BJP has raised the issue of uniform civil code prominently lately (Representative Image)

The Law Commission has started the consultation process for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), an issue the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has raised prominently lately.

The Law Commission has sought the views of the public and religious organisations on the issue of UCC.

The UCC refers to a scenario where all people irrespective of religion of region would be under the same set of personal laws. As of now, personal laws governing personal affairs such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance are governed by religion-specific laws, such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954 and Christian Marriage Act, 1872.

This is not the first time that the Law Commission has sought such views.

"Initially the 21st Law Commission of India had examined the subject on Uniform Civil Code and solicited the views of all the stakeholders through its appeal along with a questionnaire dated 07.10.2016 and further public appeals/notices dated 19.03.2018, 27.03.2018 and 10.4.2018...The 21st Law Commission has issued the consultation paper on 'Reforms of Family Law' on 31.08.2018," said the Ministry of Law and Justice in a press release.

The release further said that the law panel has now sought views again "bearing in mind the relevance and importance of the subject and also the various Court orders on the subject".

Since 2022, the BJP has repeatedly raised the issue of UCC. The BJP has raised the issue in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had last formed a high-powered panel headed by a retired judge to look at the subject.

One key idea behind the UCC is to bring all communities at par with each other as provisions in some personal laws are perceived to be unequal.  Therefore, while supporters of the idea claim gender equality and gender justice dimensions to the call for the UCC, critics say that the UCC would be undue interference in the affairs of religious minorities, such as Muslims.