Common Civil Code Issue UPSC Mains Exam Pdf Download

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Law Ministry says minority rights in way of common civil code- Utkarsh Anand (GS Paper 2)


The Union Law Ministry sees three chief impediments in adoption of the Uniform Civil Code — separatism, conservatism and misconceived notions about personal laws.

The note also shows that the government considers it “a challenge to reconcile legal uniformity with protection of minority rights” when it comes to having a common set of laws to regulate personal matters such as marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, etc.

Three major problems in its implementation-Common Civil Code Issue UPSC Mains Exam Pdf Download

  1. Conservatism which always resists any attempt to progress;
  2. Misconceived notions about personal laws; and
  3. Clinging to the ideas of separatism generated and fostered for a long time under foreign rule.

The purpose of the Uniform Civil Code is to divest religion from social relations and personal laws, ensuring equality, unity and integrity of the nation and justice to both men and women. In other countries such as Germany, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, etc, having heterogeneous society, civil code governs uniformly such matters

Directive of Article 44 has not been realised due to the challenge of reconciling legal uniformity with the protection of minority rights, which are also constitutionally protected. So, wide consultation would be required with stakeholders, in addition to an in-depth study of the provisions of personal laws governing different communities.

Equality before uniformity-Hasina Khan, Mary E. John (GS Paper 2)

Introduction -Common Civil Code Issue UPSC Mains Exam Pdf Download

  • Two intertwined topics that have recently reclaimed their place in news headlines are the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), and Muslim women’s rights, or rather wrongs. Law Commission declares that the three impediments to legislating a UCC are “separatism, conservatism, and misconceived notions about personal laws”.
  • Muslim personal law has also been in the news independently of the UCC issue — because of the PIL supporting Shayara Bano’s demand for the repeal of unilateral divorce (or triple talaq), and the responses this has received.

Comparing Hindu and Muslim women

  • During the 1990s, the idea of a UCC was extensively criticised by women’s groups who feared the unspoken intentions of the Hindu Right in advocating it.
  • Hindu personal law has been successfully reformed; in sharp contrast, Muslim law remains uncodified and imposes the worst vulnerabilities on Muslim women; therefore, Hindu personal law should be made the basis for a UCC.
  • From census study on marriage and polygamy (which had been cited in the famous ‘Towards Equality’ report of 1974 on the status of Indian women) which showed that the incidence of polygamy (usually bigamy) was in fact greater among Hindus than Muslims. Moreover, such wives had no rights under the reformed Hindu law, unlike the rights available to Muslim women under polygamy.

We believe that there are three main lessons to be learnt from our recent past-

  • We must stop making dubious comparisons between Muslim and Hindu women.
  • Survey includes women who were married between 1940 and 1960 — which means that 15 of these 20 years were prior to the enactment in 1955 of the Hindu Code Bill that outlawed polygamy.
  • These data do not prove that there was more bigamy among Hindu women than Muslim women even in 1960, let alone in more recent times.
  • Women are claiming their inheritance as daughters under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, particularly in regions (such as Haryana) where land prices have shot up, and the support of in-laws is forthcoming.
  • The status of Muslims as delineated in the Sachar Committee report a decade ago is likely to have declined further given their increased marginalisation in social, economic and political terms.
  • We must learn from and support much more broadly the struggles that have been waged since the 1980s by a wide variety of Muslim women’s organisations.
  • A range of organisations emerged between 1984 and 2013, including Awaaz-e-Niswaan, Muslim Women’s Rights Network, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), and the Bebaak Collective, to name only a few.
  • While unilateral triple talaq is viewed as being contrary to true Islamic principles by many theological schools, polygamy is considered to be part of mainstream Islam. Yet there are organisations asking for the abolition of polygamy, thus pushing the outer boundaries of personal law reform.
  • Muslim women’s organisations have also been demanding economic and political rights.
  • Feminists must remember and recover the creativity and energy of the 1990s.
  • Observing the innovative use of secular laws by minority groups, such as the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 for adoption of children by Muslims and Christians.

Triple talaq unconstitutional, govt to tell SC (GS Paper 1)

Common Civil Code Issue UPSC Mains Exam Pdf Download

The Centre is set to inform the Supreme Court that the practice of triple talaq is unconstitutional and also against gender equality. While doing so, the government will also refer to the secular character of the country, arguing that the practice is “unfair, discriminatory and unreasonable”

Faith is protected under our fundamental rights but practices like triple talaq aren’t. Practices that are unconstitutional should be put an end to. Nearly 20 Islamic countries, including those in India’s neighbourhood like Pakistan and Bangladesh, have already regulated the matrimony laws, including triple talaq.

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