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'Need Code Common To All': Delhi HC Directs Law Ministry To Frame Uniform Civil Code

Delhi High Court on Friday observed that there is a need for implementation of the Uniform Civil Code applicable to all caste, creed and religious communities

Delhi HC

IMAGE: UNSPLASH / PTI


In a significant development towards having uniformity across the different sections, castes, creed and religions in the country, the Delhi High Court on Friday observed that there is a need for implementation of the Uniform Civil Code.

Stating that it is the right time to implement the Uniform Civil Code, the High Court has sent the judgement to the Union Law Ministry to take appropriate steps as deemed fit for the creation of the Uniform Civil Code.

The Delhi HC went on to state that the need for the Uniform Civil Code as envisioned under Article 44 of the Constitution has been reiterated from time to time by the Supreme Court, thus calling for its implementation.

A single bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh passed the order concerning the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, regarding the governance of communities or religious or personal matters such as marriages, divorces, inheritance, adoptions, among others.

"The youth of India belonging to various communities, tribes, castes, or religions who solemnise their marriages ought not to be forced to struggle with issues arising due to conflicts in various personal laws, especially in relation to marriage and divorce," Justice Pratibha Singh said.

Justice M Prathiba Singh passed the judgment on July 7 on a plea involving the applicability of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, in respect of parties belonging to the Meena community.

What is Uniform Civil Code?

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a proposal in India for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India, nevertheless it is yet to become a rule of law.

At present, religions and communities follow norms and practices as per the code and conduct of respective religions, making it difficult for the courts and the rule of law to take its course when confronted with situations arising out of personal disputes of the citizens. Hence, the Delhi High Court observed that there is a need for a code that is common to all the citizens of the country regardless of caste, creed, religion and other separating factors which act as a constraint in the rule of law and make citizens struggle for justice due to the conflicts and contradictions in various personal laws.

Currently, Goa is the only state with the Uniform Civil Code, however, it is not derived from the Indian rule of law. The Portuguese Civil Code of 1867 applies to all Goans, irrespective of their religious or ethnic community. Speaking in favour of the Uniform Civil Code, former Chief Justice of India SA Bobde in March this year lauded Goa’s Uniform Civil Code and encouraged intellectuals indulging in the academic background to visit the state to learn more about it.

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