Uniform Civil Code in India

Categories: Journal

ISSUE NO :-3  September 10, 2023

Uniform Civil Code and Its Importance

Name of the author- Gautam Choudhary

page no:- 1

Sub topics

1. Introduction
2. Historical Background
3. Impact on Hindu Law
4. Article 44 and the Directive Principles
5. Importance of a Uniform Civil Code
6. A Global Perspective
7. Equal Treatment and the Principle of Uniformity
8. Modernization and Eradication of Discrimination
9. Empowering Women and Ensuring Rights
10. Balancing Secularism and Cultural Diversity
11. Potential Impacts of a Uniform Civil Code
12. Social Evolution and Family Dynamics
13. Modernization through a Uniform Civil Code
14. Challenges and Divergent Perspectives
15. Conclusion:
College- Amity Law School
Programme- BBA LLB (H) 5th Semster
Email Id- gautamchoudhary25@gmail.com
Contact Number- 6350051443
Uniform Civil Code and Its Importance

page no:- 2

The concept of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India embodies the aspiration for a standardized
legal framework that would be applicable to all citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliations,
in matters concerning marriages, divorces, adoptions, and inheritance. It seeks to replace the
divergent personal laws rooted in religious scriptures, statues, and customs that have long shaped
the legal landscape in the country. In today’s progressive era, characterized by a move towards
inclusivity and equality, biases based on religion, class, caste, and gender are increasingly being
challenged. In this context, the notion of a secular community where discriminatory opinions and
thinking have no place gains significance. Secularism is a vital aspect that underpins the drive for
uniformity, as represented by the UCC. Yet, the implementation of a UCC remains a contentious
topic in India, marked by resistance from various religious groups, particularly Muslim

page no:-3

Historical Background
The historical foundations of the UCC can be traced back to colonial India, during which the
British government recognized the need for codifying Indian laws, including those concerning
contracts and crimes. Notably, the British government suggested excluding the personal laws of
Hindus and Muslims from this codification. As the colonial era progressed, there was a growing
legislative focus on personal issues, which culminated in the formation of the B.N. Rau Committee
in 1941. This committee was tasked with the codification of Hindu Law, an effort aimed at
examining the need for common Hindu laws. The resulting codification, in accordance with
scriptural tenets, introduced provisions that granted women equal rights. Furthermore, the Hindu
Succession Act of 1956 represented a significant milestone, granting greater property rights to
women, particularly within the context of inheritance.
Impact on Hindu Law
The Hindu Succession Act of 1956, influenced by the recommendations of the Rau Committee,
addressed the concerns of inheritance among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The Act sought
to rectify gender imbalances and inequalities that had long characterized Hindu personal laws. Key
amendments introduced in 2005 further enhanced the rights of female heirs, ensuring that
daughters were entitled to the same share of inheritance as sons. However, it’s important to note
that separate personal laws continued to be applicable to other religious communities such as
Parsis, Christians, and Muslims.

page no:- 3

Article 44 and the Directive Principles
The foundation of a UCC rests on Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which is a part of the
Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 44 calls for the state’s efforts to secure for its citizens
a uniform civil code throughout the country. Despite more than six decades since its incorporation,
the implementation of a UCC has remained elusive. Article 44 was introduced with the aim of
achieving a balance between protecting the rights of vulnerable groups and fostering cultural
cohesion. During the process of framing the Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar articulated the
desirability of a UCC that was voluntary in nature. While Article 44 embodies this vision, other
articles, namely Articles 25-28, grant Indian citizens the freedom to practice and manage their
religious affairs independently. Thus, Article 44 stands as a directive principle, leaving it to the
government’s discretion to enact relevant laws.
Importance of a Uniform Civil Code
The necessity for a UCC is underscored by several factors. In a modern world that emphasizes
equal rights for all citizens, the promotion of gender equality, the alignment of young minds with
progressive thought, and the fostering of national integration are paramount. Achieving these
objectives necessitates a UCC that transcends the centuries-old dominance of men over women.
While the British colonial rulers codified various laws related to contracts, property, and crimes,
they refrained from intervening in religious and cultural matters. As a result, personal laws
pertaining to marriage, family, and inheritance persisted largely unchanged. The inclusion of
Article 44 in the Constitution represented a forward-looking perspective, anticipating the eventual
implementation of a UCC. However, this vision has yet to be fully realized even after more than
six decades.

page no:- 4

A Global Perspective
A compelling point of consideration is that almost every country, except India, has a uniform civil
code applicable to all citizens. The implications of a UCC go beyond mere legal standardization.
When effectively enforced, it has the potential to eliminate discrimination based on religious
beliefs. A significant concern in this regard is the suppression of women’s rights within religious
contexts. A prime example of this is the Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano case. In this landmark
case, the Supreme Court ruled that a divorced Muslim woman was entitled to maintenance under
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, even after the completion of her iddat period.
However, the subsequent political response and enactment of controversial laws underscore the
tension between personal laws and gender equality.
Equal Treatment and the Principle of Uniformity
A fundamental principle underlying a UCC is the guarantee of equal treatment for all citizens,
irrespective of their religious affiliations. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution enshrines the
concept of equality before the law and the courts. However, existing legal frameworks based on
religion create a paradox wherein individuals of different faiths are subjected to dissimilar laws.
For instance, while a Muslim man is permitted to have multiple wives without legal consequences,
individuals from other religions face legal sanctions for practicing similar actions. This incongruity
reflects a lack of true equality and highlights the imperative for a UCC that addresses such
disparities comprehensively.

page no:- 4

Modernization and Eradication of Discrimination
The implementation of a UCC holds the potential to usher in an era of modernization and eradicate
caste and religious agendas from politics. While India has made significant strides in economic
development, it still lags behind in certain aspects of social progress. The social fabric of the nation
stands at a crossroads, straddling the fine line between modernity and tradition. A UCC could
provide the impetus for India to reclaim its position as a socially and culturally vibrant nation, free
from the shackles of discrimination.
Empowering Women and Ensuring Rights
Women have historically been subjected to subjugation and domination in many societies,
including India. The implementation of a UCC could serve as a powerful tool for women’s
empowerment, enabling them to stand shoulder to shoulder with men in all spheres of life. The
rights of women have been curtailed by religious laws, regardless of the faith they belong to. For
instance, the issue of triple talaq in Islam has sparked significant debates, with Muslim women
advocating for their rights against the backdrop of personal laws that often deny them equality. Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar’s advocacy for Hindu women further underscores the urgency of implementing a
UCC to address the myriad challenges faced by women across religious communities.
Balancing Secularism and Cultural Diversity
The UCC hinges on the principles of secularism and cultural diversity. While secularism is a
foundational aspect of Indian democracy, interpretations of this concept vary. Consequently, the
UCC is both championed and criticized, depending on one’s perspective. Some argue that the UCC
stands as a potential threat to secularism, while others view it as a conduit for fostering communal
harmony and preserving the essence of secular principles. However, the rights of Indian women
are an underlying concern, hovering in the background of this debate.
Potential Impacts of a Uniform Civil Code
The present absence of a UCC raises questions about its potential impact on society. While its
implementation is uncertain, its significance cannot be underestimated. The secular foundation of
the UCC promotes coexistence, emphasizing the importance of harmonious living regardless of
religious beliefs. Secularization goes beyond the exclusion of religious matters, extending to areas
such as family laws, marriage, and inheritance. The contentious issue of triple talaq, for instance,
has reignited the debate surrounding the UCC’s implementation, with some advocating for its
adoption to safeguard the rights of Muslim women.
Social Evolution and Family Dynamics
The implications of a UCC extend to social evolution and family dynamics. The absence of a UCC
has allowed individuals to marry multiple partners, leading to larger families with children who
often grow up without the active involvement of fathers. Implementing a UCC could potentially
encourage more responsible family planning and active participation of fathers in child-rearing. In
a society where family structure significantly influences overall development, a UCC could
contribute to a more civilized and educated citizenry, thereby facilitating societal and national

page no:- 5

Modernization through a Uniform Civil Code
The introduction of a UCC holds the promise of modernization for India. It serves as a symbol of
change and transformation, impacting various aspects of society. The modernization brought about
by a UCC extends beyond legal standardization; it encompasses the empowerment of women, the
transformation of family dynamics, and the upgradation of social standards. As India endeavors to
balance tradition and progress, a UCC could become the catalyst for aligning the nation with global
norms and values.
Challenges and Divergent Perspectives
Despite the compelling rationale for a UCC, challenges persist in its implementation. Opposition
from various quarters stems from differing perspectives and concerns. Some individuals resist the
idea due to misunderstandings or apprehensions, while others perceive it as a potential threat to
their religious identity. The apprehension that a UCC might undermine religious customs and
beliefs underscores the need for nuanced communication and dialogue around this topic.
Additionally, political dynamics play a role, with some parties exploiting religious sensitivities to
secure their interests.

page no ;- 6

In conclusion, a UCC is not merely a legal reform but a manifestation of India’s collective journey
towards a more unified and inclusive future. The nation’s rich cultural heritage and diverse
religious landscape demand an approach that respects individual faith while ensuring equal
treatment under the law. The pursuit of a UCC encapsulates the ideals of justice, equality, and
modernization. While it is imperative to address concerns and apprehensions, the larger goal of a
UCC aligns with the principles of a progressive and harmonious society. As India navigates the
complexities of tradition, modernity, and diversity, the implementation of a UCC could stand as a
beacon of change, signaling a new era of equality and unity for the nation.
• Lawteacher.net
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• India.com
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