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Updated February 6th, 2024 at 12:54 IST

Landmark UCC Bill Tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly: How Will it Impact Child Adoption Rules?

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami presented the bill in the House. In a symbolic gesture, he entered the assembly with an original copy of the Constitution.

Digital Desk
Landmark UCC Bill tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly: How Will it Impact Child Adoption Rules?
Landmark UCC Bill tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly: How Will it Impact Child Adoption Rules? | Image:Freepik
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Dehradun: In a landmark move, Uttarakhand has taken a significant step towards the adoption of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The bill, presented in the state assembly on Tuesday by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, aims to establish uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens in Uttarakhand irrespective of their religious affiliations. Once the Uttarakhand assembly approves the final draft of Uniform Civil Code, the state will become the first one post-Independence, after Goa, to implement the UCC. 

The comprehensive 800-page report, crafted by a five-member committee and submitted to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, suggests exempting tribal communities from the UCC's purview. The report prioritises women's empowerment and proposes measures such as prohibiting polygamy, establishing a uniform marriage age across religions, and addressing issues like marriage, inheritance, divorce, adoption, and maintenance.

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The committee's recommendations encompass various aspects, including making practices like Halala, Iddat, and Triple Talaq under Muslim personal law will be punishable offences. According to the bill tabled in the assembly today, both the genders will get equal inheritance rights. Women will enjoy equal inheritance rights as Men. Moreover, a formal declaration of a live-in relationship will be mandatory. Once approved by the Uttarakhand Assembly, the finalised UCC draft is expected to serve as a model for other states considering similar reforms. 

Impact of UCC on Adoption

The potential impact of the UCC on adoption laws is noteworthy. Uniformity in the adoption regulations may grant communities (that were previously restricted the legal option to adopt) the legal right to adopt. Currently, the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act of 1956 is applicable only to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists.

CM Dhami carries a copy of Indian Constitution to the Assembly

In a symbolic gesture, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami left his residence in Dehradun with a copy of Indian Constitution. He entered the assembly with the original copy of the Constitution before presenting the Uniform Civil Code Uttarakhand 2024 Bill in the State Assembly today. The ongoing session of the state assembly was convened especially for the passage of the UCC bill.

Treasury benches welcomed the tabling of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill with thumping of desks and chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Vande Mataram’. Before the bill was tabled, there were protests inside the House by opposition members who said that they were not given time to study its provisions. Slogans were also raised by the opposition members who were pacified after Speaker Ritu Khanduri assured them that they would get enough time to study the bill.

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"It seems the government wants to pass the bill without a debate in violation of the legislative traditions," Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya said.

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Published February 6th, 2024 at 12:40 IST

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