Uttarakhand CM Dhami Tables Historic Bill For Uniform Civil Code In Assembly

Uttarakhand introduced the Uniform Civil Code Bill in the state assembly on Tuesday by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Dhami on Monday said that the wait for the uniform law for all citizens will be over soon. 

#WATCH | Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami tables the Uniform Civil Code Uttarakhand 2024 Bill in State Assembly, in Dehradun. pic.twitter.com/B1LRzfoC09

— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2024

Urging all MLAs, to take part in the debate Dhami on Monday said: "We will present the bill in the Assembly tomorrow and all the procedures and debates will take place… The whole country is looking towards Uttarakhand."

The Bill was introduced at a special assembly session, convened specifically to pass the UCC Bill. A day before the introduction of the Bill, CM Dhami shared a video of a speech that Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered in June 2023 on the UCC. PM Modi had said that one household can’t have separate laws for its members and everyone should be treated equally.

Dream of Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat is coming true
Everyone will get equal rights through UCC@narendramodi pic.twitter.com/PGgbmtIBup

— Pushkar Singh Dhami (@pushkardhami) February 5, 2024

A panel appointed by the government, led by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, has compiled an extensive report spanning four volumes and 749 pages, presenting numerous recommendations, reported NDTV. The panel gathered 2.33 lakh written responses online and hosted over 70 public forums. Engaging with approximately 60,000 individuals during these sessions, the panel worked collaboratively to shape the drafted proposals.

However, if the bill is introduced, there will be no impact on religious customs. Marriages will be conducted as per existing rituals of individual religions and there will be no impact on the prevailing food habits, worship, dressing, etc of citizens.

Raised Age For Marriage, Blanket Ban On Polygamy — What Uttarakhand’s Draft UCC Proposes

While specific details of the draft remain undisclosed to the public, various reports indicated it will establish a legal framework for marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws, independent of religious associations. If implemented, Uttarakhand would become the first post-Independence Indian state to adopt the UCC, following the precedent set by Goa during Portuguese rule.

So far, five countries have implemented a form of UCC — France, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Nepal.

The UCC draft proposes measures for a blanket prohibition on polygamy and child marriage, a standardized age for girls eligible for marriage across all religions, and a uniform divorce. procedure. These suggestions, geared towards fostering gender equality and social harmony, are scheduled for deliberation in a special four-day assembly session that commenced yesterday and will run until Thursday.

The UCC draft recommends various measures in civil life to standardize inheritance rights, mandate marriage registration, and raise the marriageable age for girls to encourage education before marriage. Additionally, couples who do not register their marriages may be deemed ineligible for the benefits of government welfare schemes.

The proposed UCC for Uttarakhand transcends religious boundaries, extending adoption rights to all, including Muslim women. It aims to proscribe practices like halala and iddat (Islamic rituals following divorce or a husband’s death), advocate for the recognition of live-in relationships, and simplify adoption procedures, reported NDTV.

Key provisions of the UCC encompass equal property rights for both sons and daughters, the elimination of distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate children, and equitable treatment for adopted and biologically born children. In the event of an individual’s demise, the proposed UCC guarantees equal property rights for the spouse, children, and parents, a departure from previous laws that imposed limitations on such rights.

Apart from the UCC Bill, a Bill regarding 10% horizontal reservation in government jobs to the state agitators and their families was also presented in the assembly. There will be no Question Hour and adjournment on Tuesday. The Opposition has protested the decision of the Business Advisory Committee. Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya and Congress MLA Pritam Singh resigned from the committee on Monday, complaining about running the House. "against the rules".

Yashpal Arya said on Tuesday, "We are not against it (Uniform Civil Code). The House is governed by the rules of conduct of business but BJP is continuously ignoring it and wants to suppress the voice of the MLAs based on the strength of numbers. It is the right of the MLAs to express their views in the House, during Question Hour, whether they have a proposal under Rule 58 or under other rules, they have the right to raise their voices on various issues of the state in the Assembly. .."

#WATCH | Dehradun: On UCC, Uttarakhand Assembly LoP Yashpal Arya says, "We are not against it (Uniform Civil Code). The House is governed by the rules of conduct of business but BJP is continuously ignoring it and wants to suppress the voice of the MLAs based on the strength of… pic.twitter.com/6hxa3enEgf

— ANI (@ANI) February 6, 2024