Law Commission’s report on Uniform Civil Code
The 22nd Law Commission of India sought the views of religious organisations and the public on the issue of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
What is Uniform Civil Code?
- Uniformity - A UCC would provide for one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities, in their personal matters.
- Constitutionality- Article 44 of the Constitution lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a UCC for citizens throughout the territory of India.
- Not enforceable- Article 44 is among the Directive Principles of State Policy. Directive Principles are not enforceable by court, but are supposed to inform and guide governance.
Recommendations of 21st Law Commission:
- Gender-just reforms- It underlined that rather than enacting a UCC, family laws of every religion must be reformed to make them gender-just.
- Uniformity of rights- It talked about the uniformity of rights, not laws.
- Reforms for women and children- It recommended a series of reforms in the personal laws of all religions as well as the secular laws that place women and children at a disadvantage.
Way ahead (as per 21st Law Commission):
- Codification of Muslim laws- It suggested the codification of the Muslim law of inheritance and succession and bringing in uniform provisions of succession for Shias and Sunnis.
- Basis of succession- It held that succession and inheritance should be based on “proximity to the deceased rather than a preference to male agnates”.
- Abolition of HUF- It suggested the abolition of the Hindu coparcenary system-the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) property.