February 1, 2023

law: Govt likely to refer uniform civil code issue to law panel | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Law minister Kiren Rijiju has told BJP’s Lok Sabha MP Nishikant Dubey that the government has referred the issue of Uniform Civil Code to the 22nd Law Commission to make an appropriate recommendation. The Centre has been receiving repeated communications from constitutional courts and Members of Parliament on making its stand clear on implementing the uniform civil code (UCC) for the country.
The 22nd Law Commission is yet to have a chairman appointed even after more than three years of the term of the last commission coming to an end.
In response to Dubey’s letter, the law minister has said that “Article 44 of the Constitution provides that the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. The minister said that in view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved and it requiring an in-depth study of the provisions of various personal laws governing different communities, a proposal to examine issues relating to UCC and to make recommendations had been forwarded to the 21st law commission of India.
“However, the term of the 21st law commission ended on August 31, 2018. The matter may be taken up by the 22nd law commission of India,” he clarified. More than three years later, the government is yet to appoint a chairman for the 22nd Law Commission. The matter of the UCC was first referred to the 21st Law Commission in June 2016. The commission had come out with a 185-page “consultation paper” where it had suggested wide ranging changes in various family laws bringing in gender justice and equality.
After having reviewed more than 75,000 responses during its two-year-long deliberation on the subject, the 21st Law Commission was of the view that a uniform civil code is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”.
The commission had said that it failed to evolve a consensus on a UCC for the country after consultations with various stakeholders and thus felt that the best way forward was to preserve the diversity of personal laws and at the same time ensure that they don’t contradict the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The issue of UCC was part of the BJP’s 2014 election manifesto and high on its agenda.

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