Uniform Civil Code draft gets approval of Uttarakhand Cabinet : The Tribune India

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Uniform Civil Code draft gets approval of Uttarakhand Cabinet

Uniform legal marriageable age for girls & boys on table

Uniform Civil Code draft gets approval of Uttarakhand Cabinet

UCC panel chairperson Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai hands over the draft to the Uttarakhand CM. ANI



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 4

The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Sunday approved the much-anticipated Uniform Civil Code draft Bill, paving the way for the Himalayan state to become the first in India to enact a common personal law.

Special Assembly session from today

A special Assembly session begins on Monday to pass the UCC legislation and make it an Act. If the UCC is implemented, BJP-ruled Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country after Independence to do so.

States’ power

States can legislate on UCC. Entry 5 of the Concurrent List of the Constitution allows states to enact laws on marriage, divorce, infants, minors, adoption, wills, succession, joint family and partition.

The draft Bill will be tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday and passed during the special Assembly session called exclusively to debate the UCC from February 5 to 8.

The UCC is the only pending core Lok Sabha poll promise of the BJP which has fulfilled the other two pledges — Abrogation of Article 370 in J&K and construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Instead of pushing a national-level UCC, the ruling BJP government has adopted a path of bringing the common personal law through the state Assembly route. Uniform legal marriageable age for girls and boys across faiths is part of the draft, besides the regulation of live-in relationships by making their reporting mandatory, ban on polygamy and discriminatory customs like ‘nikah halala’ in some faiths. The Tribune has learnt that the draft law could recommend raising the legal age of marriage for girls upwards from 18.

The Hindu Marriage Act-1955 and the Special Marriage Act prescribe 18 and 21 as the legal age for marriage of girls and boys. In the Muslim Sharia law, girls can be married at any time between adolescence and adulthood after they attain puberty. In many public hearings it conducted, the expert panel which presented the UCC draft to CM Pushkar Singh Dhami this week, received an overwhelming women’s input favouring raising the marriageable age to 21 with some even suggesting 25 years.

The UCC draft is also expected to propose uniformity on the grounds for dissolution of marriage based on the presumption of death.

In Hindu law, marriage can be dissolved on presumption of death if a spouse has been missing for at least seven years, as against four years among Muslims. The Parsi personal law is silent on the matter.

The draft Bill may suggest ways to reconcile different personal laws on the division of property between legal heirs, by making provisions to streamline inheritance and maintenance issues.

The Bill will not cover adoption but will feature provisions for easing complex marriage registration processes, and simplifying existing divorce laws. It remains to be seen if the draft will dwell on maintenance. Different faiths have different practices to award maintenance despite Section 125, CrPC, a secular provision, mandating maintenance for wife, child, father and mother.

The Bill exempts the state’s STs who form 2.9 % of the population.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Uniform Civil Code UCC #Uttarakhand


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