Uttarakhand 1st State To Pass Uniform Civil Code In Assembly, Bill Awaits Governor’s Nod To Become Act

The Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code was passed in the state assembly on Wednesday with  80% MLAs voting in favor of the Bill. The Bill will now have to get Governor Gurmit Singh’s assent to become law in Uttarakhand. 

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill, proposing uniform laws for marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance in Uttarakhand, was introduced in the Uttarakhand Assembly on Tuesday by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.

The presentation of the UCC bill was met with enthusiasm from the treasury benches, marked by applause and chants of. "Jai Shri Ram", "Vande Mataram",and "Jai Bharat Mata Ki". 

The UCC seeks to raise the minimum age for women to get married to promote their education, standardize the process for divorce across religions, and mandate registration of live-in relationships. It also seeks to bring in equal standards of inheritance for women in the state.    

With the passage of the Bill, Uttarakhand has made history as the first state in post-Independence India to adopt a UCC. Goa implemented a UCC during Portuguese rule.

Prior to the Bill’s introduction, opposition members voiced protests inside the House, citing inadequate time to study its provisions. Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya raised concerns about a potential lack of debate, stating, "It seems the government wants to pass the bill without a debate in violation of the legislative traditions." Slogans were raised by the opposition, but Speaker Ritu Khanduri reassured them, promising ample time for studying and debating the provisions of the Bill.

The Bill was passed during a four-day special assembly session. The enactment of this legislation fulfills a significant promise made by the BJP during the 2022 Assembly polls, contributing to the party’s resounding victory for the second consecutive term.

Notably, several BJP-ruled states, including Gujarat and Assam. , have expressed interest in adopting the Uttarakhand UCC as a model, showcasing its potential influence beyond the state’s borders.