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25th January 2023 (7 Topics)

25th January 2023

QUIZ - 25th January 2023

5 Questions

5 Minutes

Editorials

Context:

The decision to replace diverse personal laws with a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), applicable to all Indians, irrespective of religion, gender or caste but still there are several confusions on its applicability.

Questions surrounding the Uniform Civil Code:

  • Includes existing marriage laws: Marriage laws are easier to unify, but they too have complexity. The commonly cited issue, polygyny, is a red herring since a few Indians practise irrespective of the religion.
  • Criteria to define UCC: Covering all religion and how to merge the different aspects of religious laws and also the point of selection of criteria to define UCC.
  • On Individual rights: UCC must be secular and gender-equal on all counts, as women as a vulnerable group will be affected at the most first sight of all reforms.

The difficulties in implementation:

  • Merging different religious laws: There is a divergence amongst the Hindu laws, which varies from states; region and culture including Hindus of north India to Hindus of south India, matrilineal Hindus (as in Meghalaya and Kerala) have different inheritance rules from patrilineal Hindus. 
  • Related to Inheritance rights: Hindu inheritance distinguishes between separate property and coparcenary joint family property, giving coparceners rights by birth. No other personal law makes this distinction.
  • Religious instructions and rights: The right to will is unrestricted among Hindus, Christians and Parsis, but Muslim law restricts wills to one-third of the property; and Sunni and Shia Muslims differ on who can get such property and with whose consent.
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