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Uniform Civil Code: A Tyranny Of The Majority Or The Necessity Of The Democratic Nation

We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is so full of inequities, so full of inequalities, discriminations and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.- Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

This Earth is full of developed nations and developing nations. In which India is a still a developing nation. Reason behind this is that citizens of India belongs to various different communities, religion, and caste. In India we the citizens are all united only when World Cup in Cricket takes place or when we all travel in a train together. Reason being similar circumstances which unites us all together and make this country look united in front of the whole world. Uniform Civil Code, which means Same Code/rules and regulations for all civilians.

Partially, India has applied the UCC in our legislations. Indian laws are divided into Civil laws and Criminal laws. In Criminal laws we treat all the people in India same irrespective of religion, caste and creed. We do not treat criminals from Hindu religion by Manusmriti and Yagnyavalkya or Narada Smriti nor we treat criminals from Muslims by Shariat law. We have a Uniform law for all the criminals i.e., Indian Penal Code and other specific crime statutes. Civil laws, which deals with family, contracts, torts and property is still pending in India.

Conflicts Of Laws: While Implementing Uniform Family Code

To understand the conflicts of laws one need to understand the actual scenario behind the base of the conflicts. To understand the base of conflicts please go through the illustration given below:
Illustration: There are 4 different tribes living differently. The following tribes are:
  1. The first tribe belongs from an agriculture land, where people belong from same religion and everyone is vegetarian. LAW of this tribe is that killing of cattle is a crime.
  2. The second tribe belongs from non-agriculture land and everyone is of same religion. Everyone is depended on non veg food. LAW of this tribe is who ever will hunt the most animals will be rewarded.
  3. The third tribe belongs from a war zone where people mainly stay busy in wars. Therefore, number of men is small as compare to women. LAW of this tribe is to marry more than one wife to maintain the sex ratio.
  4. The fourth tribe has more women than men. LAW of this tribe is that One woman can marry more the one man to keep maintain the sex ratio.

IF all these tribes start living together there would be so many conflicts in between all of them. As tribe second people will kill animals and according to the law of tribe first such individual should be punished. Therefore, only uniformity in law can bring peace and unity in all these four tribes if they intent to live together.

India is an perfect example where people from different communities, religion, and caste live all together. Therefore, we see so many repeated conflicts in law.

To implement Uniform Family Code, the main war of the provisions of the Indian Constitution are:
Article 25-28 and 29 Vs Article 14,15, 21 and 44

Provisions against uniform Civil Code are:
  1. Term SECULAR in the preamble of the Constitution which guarantee to every citizen of India to be dealt according the customs of his own religion
  2. Article 25-28 which gives all person the fundamental right to profess his religion.
  3. Article 29 which deals to protect the interests of the minority.

Provisions in favour of Uniform Civil Code are:
  1. EQUALITY of status and of opportunity guaranteed under the preamble of the constitution of India
  2. FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation guaranteed under the preamble of the constitution of India.
  3. Article 14 as it gives fundamental right to all person to treated equal before the law or they should be given equal protection of laws.
  4. Article 15 gives all citizens the fundamental right against discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  5. Article 21 gives the fundamental right of protection of life and personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
  6. Article 44 directs the state to endeavour to secure for the citizen a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

Major Conflicting Issues While Implementing UCC

As Hindu law was codified after independence of India and every single old provisions in un-codified Hindu law which were against the Constitution of India were abolished. Such as multiple marriages right to husband, abolition of Dowry, divorce provisions were introduced for the very first time, etc.

Muslim law remained untouched at that time, even after Muslim personal laws are very oppressive and against the basic rights of the women. The majority of the issue while implementing the UCC are as follows:
  1. Polygamy
  2. Nikah Halala
  3. Triple Talaq (Within 3 months- Talaq-e-hasan)
  4. Maintenance to the divorced wife

Advantages Of UCC

Gender Equality

Implementation of uniform civil code will abolish the gender equality at large as in several personal laws males are dominative in nature and females are under suppression. Especially in Muslim law males have more power as compare to females in terms of divorce that is Talaq and marrying more than one wife i.e., up to 4 wives. The rigidity of Muslim personal law is very high as the Muslim law is very ancient and direct revelation of Allah to the Prophet Muhammad and this law cannot be changed.

But uniform civil code will not change the personal law but will abolish all the laws which are against the Constitution and make certain new laws which are not discriminatory to any party.

A Boost To National Integrity

The formation of uniform civil code will boost the national integrity as India is a combination of people from different religion, communities and groups and different personal laws for every such religion community and groups lead towards contradiction and Cold War among these religions and communities.

UCC by making and uniform laws for every citizen of India will make them unite and will boost the national integrity.

Cornerstone Of Secularism

The preamble of our constitution clearly states that India is a sovereign, socialist, secular state. But is India actually secular? No, even though secular term is clearly stated in the preamble, India is still not secular in nature. Secular state doesn't mean that we as a state provide every single personal law to them even though that personal law is against the base structure of the nation i.e., Constitution.

Every such personal law which is against the Constitution should be abolished but UCC will not affect the personal law as such as it is going to deal with marriage divorce adoption and succession but the customs will not be affected of any religion. Indirectly implementation of UCC will lead India towords a better secular nation where all religions are accepted but the laws which are against the Constitution are not accepted.

Social Reforms

After the formulation of UCC across all over the nation India will go under a process of social reform in the century for instance, in the Indian contract context, Muslim women are denied personal laws in relation to marriage, divorce etc. In various slavic countries like Pakistan Morocco Turkey Bangladesh etc all woman enjoy a codified personal law and in so many Islamic countries polygamy, Talaq-ul-biddat, etc are banned just because they are discriminatory and against human rights violation. Therefore after implementation of UCC, Indian woman specially Muslim and Christian woman will also enjoy a codified personal law therefore, this is a stepping stone towards social reform across the country

Disadvantages Of UCC

A Threat To Communal Harmony

Potential misunderstandings regarding the Uniform Civil Code created a fear among various religions especially minorities. Before implementing UCC government should gain the confidence of all the minorities in India as UCC is not something which can be implied forcefully as it is going to be a threat to communal harmony..

Government's Interference Into Personal Freedom

It is also often viewed the government sometimes with malafide intention just to interfere with the personal laws of the minorities make certain laws which are wholly against their religion or customs and traditions uniform civil code is only to protect and safeguard the rights of all citizens and not to snatch the right given by the religion.

Difficulties Due To India's Diversity

As history speaks itself while implementing Hindu civil code after the independence of India so many backfire and heat and communal harmony was affected due to this bill just because government implemented the laws very suddenly. As India is full of different diversity implementation of UCC means abolishing of all personal laws and codification of single uniform law. It is a very difficult job to implement UCC in a country with such a diverse diversity.

Judiciary Demand In Uniform Civil Code

  1. First conflict arose in Shah Bano Case:
    Where the personal law of Muslims was challenged- Supreme Court also held in this case-as it is seen in Shah Bano case that ignore to give maintenance to the wife husband manipulated Muslim personal law by giving her Talaq without the consent of the wife " It is also a matter of regret that Article 44 of our Constitution has remained a dead letter."
  2. In another case of Ms. Jorden Diengdeh vs. S.S. Chopra, Observations of Chandrachud, C.J "It was just the other day that a Constitution Bench of this Court had to emphasise the urgency of infusing life into Article 44 of the Constitution The present case is yet another which focuses attention on the immediate and compulsive need for a uniform civil code. The totally unsatisfactory state of affairs consequent on the lack of a uniform civil code is exposed by the facts of the present case.
  3. In Sarla Mudgal Case in this case husband in terms of marrying more than one wife converted himself from Hindu or Muslim so that he can avail the right to marry more than one wife were used. Wife challenged this and Supreme Court held that such act is illegal and unconstitutional and using the personal laws to manipulate things like this are not acceptable.
  4. In the case of John Vallamattom vs U.O.I, it was concluded that:
    Nevertheless the court has continued to emphasize that a common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies.
  5. The the latest case of Shariya Bano 2017, Talaq-ul-Biddat was not only held as unconstitutional but was also made it an offence. As it was against the basic human rights of the Muslim Women.
  6. Lastly, in the present pending case of Samina Begum, Polygamy and Nikah Halala are challenged and the case is yet to be decided.

Judges in all these cases have given their obiter dicta in the favour of Uniform Civil Code as it will bring integrity and unity among the citizens of India.

Uniform Civil Code is in the favour of India's Integrity and unity. As India's criminal law sector is 100% uniform and every person, irrespective of religion, caste, and creed is charged with the same sections of IPC and other specific crime laws in India. The same way there should be Uniformity in civil sectors also.

Such as family, contracts, torts and property to make this nation entirely uniform. Implementing UCC does not mean anyone has to stop the customs and religious way to get married or to do any other ceremonies but all such laws which are against Human Rights would be made illegal and unconstitutional. Hence, lets raise voice for the integrity and unity of this Nation.

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