Article 44 of the Indian constitution discusses the concept of a UCC (Uniform Civil Code), which advocates for one law to apply to all religions. This means that standard practices such as succession and partition should be followed by all religions, regardless of their diverse religious practices. Meanwhile, the directive principles of state policy do not make UCC mandatory. This article explores the merits and demerits of UCC and its constitutional provisions.
Constitutional Freedom in Practicing Different Religions
Article 15: Article 15 ensures that no person is discriminated against based on religion, race, caste, or place of birth.
Article 25: Article 25 grants individuals the freedom to follow any profession and practice any religion.
Article 25(2): Article 25(2) regulates the conduct of secular activities related to religious functions.
Article 26: Article 26 deals with establishing religious institutions for different religious practices.
Article 27: Article 27 prohibits states from levying taxes for the benefit of a particular religion.
Article 28: Article 28 addresses the issue of religious instruction in academic institutions.
Uniform Civil Code in Goa
Goa is India’s only state with a uniform civil code inherited from the time of Portuguese rule. The law process in Goa has remained unchanged since liberation.
Goa Civil Code:
a) Property is shared equally among the father, mother, and children.
b) Muslim couples, if their marriage is registered in Goa, cannot engage in practices like triple talaq and polygamy.
c) The properties owned by the couple are shared equally.
d) In divorce, both parties are entitled to half of the property.
e) Marriage, birth and death should be registered, and provisions for divorce should be available.
Benefits of Uniform Civil Code
a) Promotes unity: India’s diverse population with different religions can develop unity by implementing UCC.
b) Adaptation to current situations: Following old customary practices has led to a separate legal system that is outdated. UCC allows society to adapt to current situations.
c) Empowers women’s rights: UCC emphasizes the importance of women’s rights, including equal property rights, inheritance and succession.
Challenges in Implementing UCC
a) Political resistance: Major political parties are reluctant to support UCC due to concerns about impacting people’s religious sentiments.
b) Potential religious tensions: Implementing UCC may trigger religious communities and lead to riots and tensions.
Methods of Implementing the Code of Civil Procedure
a) Political promotion: UCC should be promoted by a political party to create familiarity and acceptance among individuals.
b) Appointment of expert jurists: Expert jurists should be appointed to handle UCC implementation effectively.
The implementation of UCC can have a significant positive impact on society if people are willing to accept changes to their customs. Even if not accepted by all religious institutions initially, UCC can be implemented. The process of implementing UCC requires careful consideration and encouragement for its effectiveness.
1. Why is a uniform civil code necessary?
A uniform civil code helps establish unity among people of different religions, reduces vote bank politics, allows adaptation to current situations, and emphasizes women’s rights.
2. What are the challenges in implementing a uniform civil code?
Challenges include political resistance, concerns about impacting religious sentiments, and potential religious tensions and conflicts.
3. How can a uniform civil code be implemented effectively?
Effective implementation requires expert drafting, political promotion, and the appointment of expert jurists to handle the process.
4. What are the benefits of a uniform civil code?
Benefits include promoting unity, reducing vote bank politics, enabling adaptation to current situations, and empowering women’s rights.