The term Uniform Civil Code connotes the idea of same set of civil rules for the citizens irrespective of their religion, caste, etc. Civil law governs the matters pertaining to marriage, adoption, inheritance, succession and so on. In India such matters of the citizens are still governed by the personal laws of their respective communities.
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It’s the mandate upon the state as a directive principle of state policy to promulgate a Uniform Civil Code for whole the country. But even after 66 years of independence it is just a distant dream leading to various ambiguities in the interpretation of personal laws. So, the present paper is deliberating upon the importance of uniform civil code as a tool to create religious harmony, there by promoting fraternity as enshrined in the Constitution. The need for uniform civil code was presented by female activists in the beginning of the 20th century, with the objective ofwomen’s rights, equality and secularism
1) Uniform civil code will strengthen the status of women and lower castes people as many laws are favorable to them.
2) The code is the sign that the country has crossed the barriers of caste and religion considerations.
3) Modern, equal and gender sensitive laws are the need of the country and Uniform civil code serves the purpose.
4) The code is the sign that the country has crossed the barriers of caste and religion considerations.
5) The code will help to reduce vote bank politics.
WHY THERE IS NO UNIFORM CIVIL CODE YET?
If uniform civil code comes into existence, the same rule will apply to all the people of the nation without considering their religion, caste, with regards to divorce, marriage, adoption, property, maintenance, and inheritance. The last central government did not touch this sensitive issue as it involved personal sentimental values of people towards their religion. The first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sighted the need of uniform civil code during his tenure, but he was only able to include it in the directive principles of the constitution.
ARTICLE 44 OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
This provision was made to promote unity and integrity which is the cherished goal enshrined in the preamble to our constitution.Article 44 of the Indian constitution aims at social justice and equality to all the citizens of India. The Uniform Civil Code, includes all legal aspects, social events in matter of birth, death, marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, succession, and adoption etc. It also relates to the rights and freedoms given by the Constitution of India, but it does not relate the social practices and cultural customs.
GOA CIVIL CODE
The goa civil code is also known as goa family law, it governs the residence of Indian state of goa. In India there are religion-specific civil codes that governs various religions. The Goa civil is mostly based on PortugueseCivil Code 1867 and had some modifications in it after it was introduced in Goa 1970
While the whole nation is unable to implement uniform civil code, the small state of goa has been successful in doing so. While the nation is still in the process of debating over the controversial topic of uniform civil code, the state of goa has successfully implemented it. The state of goa runs a same set of family laws for all the communities residing in the state of goa. Goa civil code governs all the citizen of goa irrespective caste, religion and gender. The Goa civil is mostly based on PortugueseCivil Code 1867 and had some modifications in it after it was introduced in Goa 1970
Under the working of this code, no discrimination is there in Hindu, Muslims, Christians or any other community in GOA. It exercise control over matters like succession, marriage, divorce, etc. and also in matters of gender inequality.
Under this Code, each birth, death and marriage is compulsorily to be registered and it provides for anequal distribution of property to both husband and wife(irrespective of gender) and also among n children also.
The Muslims who had their marriages registered in goa cannot marry second wife nor can divorce the existing wife to remarry another lady.
Under the code, at the time of divorce distribution of property has very strict provisions. In case of divorce each spouse will get half the share of the total property. In case of succession, if a spouse dies half of the property will be given to the alive spouse and half to the children, irrespective of gender.
DEBATE ON UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
According to Article 39 the Uniform Civil Code is taken as a principle of government. Also the Supreme Court stated that they have been waiting for the long enough and now the government should come forward for the Uniform Civil Code. In the constitution the Muslim assembly have been rejected it in a big manner and by these the Ambedkar Shab has said that the government will be foolish who have rejected it without asking their own people. According to the members of Assembly the Uniform Civil Code is going to affect the constitution in many of manner. Also the freedom of religion is guaranteed to each and every one and no one has the right to take.
The constitution of Assembly stated that in his Article 44 that the every country should impose the Uniform Civil Code so that country can be sat together.
BENEFIT & CHALLENGES OF UNIFORM CIVIL CODE IN INDIA
A Uniform Civil Code is much better for India. As India need the Uniform Civil Code because in India there are different laws, rules and regulation according to the different religion, different caste and section, which make the confusion in the law.
Right now in India it is benefit because in India there are different law, so by these the different laws will become one law and all the people will stay with unity and equality and the whole country will be one country.
If Uniform Civil Code enters in India then there will be no minorities and also the riots related to all the religion be stop. Also the minorities have the right to get there space for there their religion but as they are minorities therefore they cannot get space for their religion.
The major challenge related to the Uniform Civil Code in India is the political parties .As all the parties are there to form their own government and fulfill their basic need and luxurious needs. The constitution of India does not need any amendment because it itself is capable to change the laws of the country.
If uniform Civil Code came in to India then there will be the one law, one country, and one nation. Also the gender discrimination will be over the religion riots, warsetc. will be diminished.
OBLIGATION ON THE UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
After the consideration of the fundamental rights in Part 3 of the constitution, the constituent assembly decided to frame the directive state principle of state policy. There was justifiable difference between the two, not only that but right to enforce the fundamental rights is also made fundamental. The directive principles policy, however were not made justifiable, for obvious reasons. The directive principles were not made valid for various reasons. Article 37 of the constitution says, the provisions contained in the part will not be enforceable by and court, but the principles there in laid in are nevertheless fundamental in governance of the country, and it shall be duty of the state to apply this principles in making laws
WHAT DOES INDIAN CONSTITUTION SAYS ABOUT THE UNIFORM CIVIL CODE?
Article 44 is considered as one of the Pioneer Principles ever brought in the history of Constitution. It states The State shall Endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.” The provision was made to promote unity and integrity which is the cherished goal enshrined in Preamble to our Constitution. Article 37 of the constitution makes it clear that shall not be enforceable by any court.
CASE 1:Mohammed Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum
In 1932 a Muslim woman named Shah Bano was married to Mohammed Ahmad Khan. Mohammed Ahmad Khan was a well-known advocate in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and had five children with his wife Shah Bano. After 14 years of marriage, Mohammed Ahmad Khan married to a younger woman and after living with both the wives he threw Shah Bano and her five children out of the house. In April 1978, when Mohammed Ahmad Khan stopped giving him Rs.200 per month which he promised to give her saying that she had no means to support her five children and herself, she filed a petition against her husband Mohammed Ahmad Khan at a local court under section 125 of the code Code of Criminal Procedure, asking him for giving her amount of Rs.500 for her children and herself. On November 1978 Mohammed Ahmad Khan her husband gave her divorce which was legal under Islamic Law and hence defending himself he said Shah Bano had ceased to be his wife so he was no more liable to give her monthly maintenance to her except the pre-determined amount that is Rs.5400. In August 1979, Mohammed Ahmad Khan was ordered by court to pay Shah Bano Rs.25 per month by way of maintenance. On July 1st 1980, on revisional case of Shah Bano, the High Court of Madhya Pradesh raised the amount to Rs.179.20 per month as her maintenance for her five children and herself. Mohammed Ahmed Khan then filed a petition to appeal before Supreme Court stating that Shah Bano was no more her wife because he had married another woman and it was legal under Islamic Act and stated that he was o more liable to pay her maintenance.
Case 2 :
The appellant married respondent as per the muslim rites on 27/10/1980. During the wedding three children were born 2 daughter and 1 son. On the occurrence of the dispute between them, the respondent trashed the appellant out of the house along with the children, also refrained and neglected to maintain the children. After thrashing the first wife out of the house, the respondent married again and brought the second wife, as the appellant had no financial aid to maintain herself and the kids and her husband i.e the responder was financially sound, so she filled an application under section 125 Cr .P. C. in the court. She claimed a sum of Rs. 400/- pm for herself and Rs. 300/- pm for each child as maintaince cost. The trial court found that the respondent had failed and refrained to maintain his wife and children. And the appellant and her children were entitled to grant of maintaince from her husband. The trial court directed the respondent to pay Rs. 200/- pm for his wife and Rs.150/- pm for each child till they all are major. In the mean time the respondent divorced the appellant and filed an application in the trial court seeking modification of order. The Trial Court held that in view of the provisions of the 1986 Act the wife after her divorce was grantded maintenance only for a period of three months i.e. for the period of Iddat. the children’s concern was not affected.
Thus in the personal laws, muslim women have very weak status. Hence the uniform civil code will altogether empower women of all the religions and caste.
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