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PROJECT ON

Uniform Civil Code For India

Name:Abhishek chatterjee
Mr Sushil Goswami

Submitted To :

Reg No:11A006
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Batch :2011-16

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Index
Introduction
Pg 2
Need for uniform civil code
Pg 3
Position of the legislature
Pg 4
Uniform civil code: a call for the judiciary
Pg 6
Uniform civil code optional or compulsory
Pg 8
Uniform civil code and secularism
Pg 10
Succession and inheritance
Pg 12
Conclusion
Pg 15

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INTRODUCTION
The personal law of the Hindus, such as relating to marriage, succession
and the like has all a sacramental origin, in the same manner as in the case
of the Muslims or the Christians. The Hindus along with Sikhs, Buddhists
and Janis have forsaken their sentiments in the cause of the national unity
and

integration,

some

other

communities

would

not,

though

the

Constitution enjoins the establishment of a "Uniform civil Code" for the


whole of India. The personal laws of the major religious communities had
traditionally governed marital and family relations, with the Government
maintaining a policy of non-interference in such laws in the absence of a
demand for change from individual religious communities. India is a land of
diverse religions Hindus, Buddhists, Janis, Christians, Muslims, Parsees,
and Sikhs form the nation. Unity in diversity is the core feature of the
Indian nation. Each community has its own laws governing marriage and
divorce, infants and minors, adoption, wills, and succession. These personal
laws go with an individual across the states of India where they are part of
the law of the land, and the individual is entitled to have that individual's
own personal law applied and not the law which would be applied in the
local territory. Personal laws are statutory and customary laws applicable to
particular religious or cultural groups within a national jurisdiction. They
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govern family relations in such matters as marriage and divorce,


maintenance and succession. India is a secular country where every
community is allowed its own personal laws. Christians have the Indian
Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and the Indian Divorce Act 1869, Hindus have
the Hindu Succession Act, 1925[hereinafter HSA, 1956] and the Hindu
Marriage Act, 1955[hereinafter HMA, 1955] and so on. Muslim personal
law, based on the Sharia, is not codified. Since Muslims are governed by the
Sharia, an Indian male Muslim is entitled to have four wives at any time. It
is interesting to note that after independence, Pakistan modernized its
personal law and made it quite difficult for a man to marry a second time.
Tunisia and Turkey have actually abolished polygamy. In India, only Muslim
men may

practice

polygamy, and

Hindu sons

inherit greater

shares of

their parents'
estatesthan their sisters do. While one's religion determines which law will
apply to him or her regarding marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship
, adoption, inheritance, and succession. Uniform civil code [hereinafter
UCC]

of

India

is

term

referring

tothe concept of an overarching Civil Law Code in India. A uniform civil cod
eadministers the same set of secular civil laws to govern all people, even th
ose belonging to different religions and regions. This supersedes the right
of

citizens

to be

governed under

different personal

laws

based on

their religion or ethnicity. Such codes are in place in most modern nations.
There

is

no

doubt

that

the

idea of

UCC is

by and

large, a

child

of independent India. The British Indian Government merely enacted a few


laws which governed family relationships irrespective of the religions of the
partners for e.g. Special Marriage Act, 1872; Married Womens Property
Act, 1874; Indian Succession Act, 1925 and the Child Marriage Restraint
Act, 1929.The British did not show any pursuit to encourage the
environment of uniformity of Laws in India. To quote Choudhary Hyder
Husain, a prominent Muslim lawyer, Living under the British rule for about
two centuries weve come to consider it only natural for Hindus to be
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governed by Hindu Law and Muslim to be governed by Muslim Law; but it is


wholly a medieval idea and has no place in the modern world...I would
therefore

strongly

urge

the

necessity

of

having one single code to be named as Indian Civil Code applicable to every
body living within the territory of Indian Union irrespective of caste, creed
or religion persuasions. This is the juristic solution to the communal
problem .It appears to be absolutely essential in the Interest of the
unification of the country for building up one single nation with one single
set of laws in the country.Article 44 of the Indian Constitution requires the
State to secure for its citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory
of India. The term civil code issued to cover the entire body of laws
governing rights relating to property and personal matters such as
marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption and inheritance. The object of
this code is to enhance national integration by eliminating contradictions
based on ideologies. It aims to bring all communities on a common platform
on matters which are currently governed by diverse personal laws.
However, even after 60 years of independence, our law makers are yet to
give effect to this provision.
2. NEED FOR UNIFORM CIVIL CODE
Ours is a country with several different religions and belief systems. The
accepted principle of law is that personal belief systems and laws must be in
conformity with the Constitution and not the other way round. Article 25 of
the Constitution guarantees to every person the freedom of conscience and
the right to profess practice and propagate religion. Article 26 of the
Constitution guarantees to every religious denomination the right to
manage its own affairs in the matters of religion. No set of laws can violate
these Articles, which essentially protect the religious freedom of different
person or communities. We are thus presented with a situation that seems
somewhat contradictory; how can there be a uniform set of laws which
protects religious freedom at the same time? The implementation of a
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uniform set of laws calls for discarding certain personal laws which go
against societys general outlook as a whole, and this may amount to
violation of the above mentioned Articles of the Constitution. With multiple
belief systems, come multiple ideological conflicts. To live together in
concurrence with such diversity, we need to have uniformity at some level
so as to avoid such conflicts. What we need is a Uniform Civil Code in the
form of a sophisticated, harmonized system of legal regulation that
maintains and skillfully uses the input of personal laws and yet achieves a
measure of legal uniformity. As long as the code does not go against the
essence i.e. the core or fundamental belief of any particular religion, it will
not go against the religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution. The
UCC has been permanently associated in the Indian mind with opposition by
the Muslims. It was rightly pointed out in the Constituently assembly that
all Hindus were in favor of UCC .They felt that the personal law of
inheritance, succession, etc. is really a part of their religion. If that were so,
Indian women can never be given equality with a man who is enshrined in
art. 14 of the Constitution. Art. 15(1) provides that the state shall not
discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex,
and place of birth or any of them. Look at Hindu law, we will find
discrimination against
women everywhere.If personal law of Hindus is a part of Hindu religion, equ
ality can never be attained among men and women. Religion must be restric
ted to religiononly and the secular activities attached to the religion must
be regulated, unified and modified for a strong and consolidated nation. The
present Muslim law can never provide equality to Muslim women- if
personal law is considered as a part of their religion. To elevate the position
of Indian women and provide them equality, India is badly needed of a UCC
for all Indians.
3. Position of the Legislature:

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The question of implementation of a common Civil Code has been raised


mainly with regard to matters where, the personal laws of a religious
community have been challenged in the court of law as being volatile of the
Constitution or against general public interest. Our law makers have
generally shied away from legislating on such points of personal law as are
considered to be of controversial or sensitive nature, for fear such
legislation being labeled as an intrusion on the above rights thereby
resulting in strong backlash. This became evident from the reaction to the
judgment of the Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case which gave a
divorced Muslim woman the right to claim maintenance even after the
period of iddat. If the amount known as meher, paid to her on divorce was
not sufficient for her livelihood, she could claim maintenance under S.125 of
the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C). There was great agitation against this
decision, led by Mullahs and Maulvis and other fundamentalist sections, as
being against the tenets of Islam. Succumbing to the pressure of vote-bank
politics and in order to appease the Muslim fundamentalists, the Rajiv
Gandhi government enacted The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights in
Divorce) Act to undo this decision. This Act exempted Muslims from the
general law regulations of the Cr.P.C, including S.125. It tried to restrict the
divorced Muslim womans right to maintenance up to the iddat period only
and provided that under section 3(1)(a) a divorced women is entitled to
reasonable and fair provision and maintenance within the iddat period.
Similarly in case of the Adoption of Children Bill 1972, the Muslim
community opposed a uniform law regarding adoption applicable to all
communities since Islam does not recognize adoption. Due to this
opposition, the bill was subsequently dropped and reintroduced in 1980
with an express clause of non-applicability to Muslims. This was again
opposed, this time by the Bombay Zoroastrian Jashan Committee, which
formed a special committee to exempt Parsis from the bill. The Adoption of
Children Bill, 1995, was passed by both Houses of the Maharashtra
legislative assembly, but is still awaiting presidential assent. What needs to
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be understood is that the religion of an individual or denomination has


nothing to do in the matter of socio-economic laws of the State. The
freedom of religion conferred by the Constitution is not absolute and by no
means does it allow religion to contravene the secular rights of the citizens
and the power of the State to regulate the socio-economic relations.
Basically, a Common Civil Code will override only those personal laws which
do not form the essence of any religion. The keyword here is essence.
Personal laws which form the fundamental basis or the core of any belief
system are ideally, excluded from the purview of the Common Civil
Code. Like the concept of secularism, justice , liberty, equality and fraternity
all are essential and inseparable part of Indian Constitution and along with
clarity and security are also considered as essential part of the constitution
and as stated earlier prevalence of different personal laws ruins the clarity
of laws and creates apprehensions in the mind of different religions so
the very purpose of the Constitution is not fulfilled and there is a necessity
for the formation of Uniform Civil Code. Providing justice without equality
to the individual will not fulfill the very basic purpose of the Constitution. It
will create such a situation in which a person have the power to go to courts
for infringement of his rights but the basis of this infringement is equality
itself which is not provided to individual. Along with the above reasons the
Fundamental Rights which are considered to be the basic structure of the
Constitution will also not be provided to the individual under the garb of
different personal laws. There will be infringement of Articles like 14, 15,
16, 17 and 18. As all of them talks about equality like Article 15 prohibits
discrimination on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or any of
them.

Article

16

talks

about

equality

in

matters of public employment. Thus the very purpose of these Articles will n
ot be fulfilled

if the

provide different

different personal

treatment to

will keep

individuals with

on prevailing
in accordance

as they
with the

religion they follow.

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4. UNIFORM CIVIL CODE: A CALL FROM THE INDIAN JUDICIARY


Even after more than six decades from the framing of the constitution, the
ideal of UCC under article 44 is yet to be achieved. However, efforts in this
discretion continued as reflected in various pronouncements of the supreme
court from time to time The Supreme Court seems to have a divided opinion
on the introduction of a Uniform Civil Code. On one hand, it has rejected
attempts to do so through public interest litigation but on the other, it has
recommended early legislation for itsimplementation.In Mohammad Ahmed
Khan v. Shah Bano, s Begum, popularly known as the Shah Banos case, the
Supreme Court held that It is also a matter of regret that Article 44 of our
Constitution has remained a dead letter. Despite section 127 of Cr.P.C.
1973

(which

provides that

if a

woman has

received

an amount

under personal law, she would not be entitled to maintenance under section
125 of Cr.P.C. 1973 after divorce) Muslim women would be entitled to
maintenance if amount received by her as dower under personal law is
not sufficient for her sustenance. Though the decision was highly criticized
by Muslim Fundamentalists, yet it was considered a liberal interpretation of
law as required by gender justice. Later, on under pressure from
Muslim fundamentalists, the

central government

passed the

Muslim womens (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, which denied


right of maintenance to Muslim women under section 125 of Cr. P.C. The
activists rightly denounced that it was doubtless a retrograde step. That
also showed hoe womens rights have a low priority even for the secular
state of India. Autonomy of a religious establishment was thus made to
prevail over womens rights.In Sarla Mudgal (Smt.), President, Kalyani and
others v. Union of India and others Prime Minister of the Country to have a
fresh look at Art. 44 of the Constitution of India and Endeavour to secure
for its citizens a UCC throughout the territory of India. He also suggested
the

appointment

of

committee

to

enact

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Conversion of religion Act. R.M. Shahai, J., while agreeing with Kuldip Singh
, J., too agreed that Ours is a Secular Democratic Republic. Freedom of reli
gion is the core of our culture. But religious practices, volatile of human
rights and dignity and sacerdotal suffocation of essentiality civil and materia
l freedoms, are not autonomy but oppression.In

Lily Thomas

etc. v.

Union of India and others the Court held that: The desirability of UCC can
hardly be doubted. But it can concretize only when social climate is
properly built up by elite of the society, statement amongst leaders who
instead of gaining personal mileage rise above and awaken the masses to
accept the change.The court further added while it was desirable to have a
UCC, the time was yet not ripe and the issue should (be) entrusted to the
Law Commission which may examine the same in consultation with
minorities Commission. That is why when the court drew up the final order
signed by both the learned judges it said, the writ petition are allowed in
terms of the answer to the questions posed in the opinion of kuldip Singh,
J. These questions we have extracted earlier and the decision was confined
to

conclusions

reached

thereon

whereas

the

observationson the desirability of enacting the UCC were incidentally made.


In Danial Latifi and another v. Union of India the court upheld the validity
of Sections 3 and 4 of the Muslim Women (Protection of rights on Divorce)
Act,

1986, as not being volatile of articles 14,

15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. Under section 3 of the Muslim


Women (Protection of rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, a Muslim husband is
liable to make reasonable and fair provision for future of divorced wife
which includes maintenance also, so she is not entitled to claim
maintenance under

section 125

of Cr.P.C. Under

section 4

of the

Act, divorced Muslim woman unable to maintain herself after iddat period
can

precede

againsther relatives or wakf Board for maintenance. Rajendra Babu, J., on b


ehalf ofa five judges bench consisting of Patnaik,
Mohapatra, Doraiswamy, Patil, and JJ...And himself observed that: - In
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interpreting the provisions where matrimonial relationship is involved we


have to consider the social conditions prevalent in our society. It is a small
solace to say that such a woman should be compensated in terms of money
towards her livelihood and such a relief which partakes basic human rights
to secure gender and social justice is universally recognized by persons
belonging

to

all

religions.In

John Vallamattom

v. Union

of India the

Supreme Court in a PIL by a Christian priest, John and other citizens of


Christian community, challenging the validity of the section 118 of the
Indian Succession Act, 1925, while striking down the said section as being
volatile of article 14 of the Constitution, and also concerned over the
contradictions in marriage laws of various religions, in a historic judgments,
emphasized the
code. Stressing

need for a

legislation by

that there

Parliament on

was no necessary

common

civil

connection between

religious and personal laws in a civilized society,


a three judge bench held that it was

matter

of regret

that article

44 of

the Constitution, which provided for the state to Endeavour to secure a


UCC for its citizens throughout India, had not been affected. The Court
further observed that Parliament is still to step in for framing a UCC in the
country. A UCC will help the cause of the national integration by removing
the contradiction based on ideologies. It can be said that after mentioning
the apex court view regarding the implementation of UCC that Art. 44
needs to be interpreted to sustain the plurastic character of the Indian
community. It should be on the gender justice rather than on uniformity.
Although

the

Supreme

Court has

not yet

interpreted Art.

44.

On all

his decisions the Court enjoined upon the parliament to enact a UCC
without

specifying

what

UCC

would

mean.

However,

the word

uniform should not mean the same law for all but it should mean similar
laws for all and similarly should be regarding equality and gender justice. In
Pannalal Bansilal v. State of Andhra Pradesh, it held that a uniform law
though highly desirable, the enactment thereof in one go may be counterproductive to the unity and integrity of the nation. Gradual progressive
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change should be brought about. Similarly, in Maharishi Avadhesh v. Union


of India , the Supreme Court dismissed a writ petition to introduce a
common Civil Code on the ground that it was a matter for the legislature
and in Ahmadabad Women Action Group v. Union of India , the Supreme
Court showed reluctance to interfere in matters of personal law
5. UNIFORM CIVIL CODE OPTIONAL OR COMPULSORY
The government has an intention to for a voluntary or optional UCC. It has
be emerged by the public that a voluntary code would be a welcome
stepping stone towards a compulsory code and would also allay the
misgivings of the Muslims that the code would impose Hindu personal law
upon them. The convention of the Bar Council of India on the UCC came out
strongly in favor of a compulsory code. The problem in optional code is
that it

cannot

be

a uniform.

It

can only

be

one more

addition to the existing family laws, thus compounding rather than reducing
the confusion

that exists.The two

facets with

regard to

the concept

of optionality should be considered .Either one has to opt for the entire code
or one may opt for selected areas. One feels that opting for the UCC should
be one-way process. There should be no withdrawing. Once a person opts
he/she will have opted for their future generations as well. There will be no
opting out. If one spouse opts for the code, the other will also have to do so
as otherwise the option will be ineffective. A voluntary code will create its
own uncertainty as, confusion and misinformation. For all the reasons, the
UCC will have to be an improvement on the existing laws in all respects and
it will have to be very clear in its expression. Why do we need a Uniform
Civil Code? What does our Constitution say about Uniform Civil Code? In
article 44, our constitution clearly specifies this "The State shall endeavor to
secure the citizen uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. The
objective of this article is to effect an integration of India by bringing all
communities into a common platform which is at present governed by
personal laws which do not form the essence of any religion. The
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constitution is very clear that unless a uniform civil code is followed,


integration cannot be imbibed. However, the so called secularists and
saviors of secularism in India think otherwise. Their argument is that this
code will affect the religious freedom of minorities. One fails to understand
how abiding the law of land can go against religious principles! They claim
that the sentiments of the minorities are not considered while implementing
common law! This code does not insist people from one religion to start
practicing rituals of other religions. All it says is, with changing living styles
along with the time, there should be a uniform civil code irrespective of all
religions as far as social ethics are concerned Till 1935, the Muslims in
India followed different rules according to their practice. Khoja Muslims
and Kutchi Memons are examples for this. The Kutchi Memons worshipped
Hindu Gods and Ali is their tenth avatar instead of Kalki. They had the
inheritance laws as per Hindus and also the marriage laws as per Hindus.
Whena common Muslim Personal law was formed; there were many
minority creeds of Muslims who had to accept these laws though they
differed from their practices. There was no need of respecting the
sentiments of the minorities (among Muslims) then. If this can be done for
minority creeds of Muslims, why cant the minority Muslims adapt the laws
for the nation? Much was debated on this issue at the Indian Parliament in
1948

by

Ambedkar,

Anantasayam

Iyengar,

KMMunshiji,

Alladi

Krishnaswamy Iyer favoring UCC and members from other religions


opposing it. On 23rdNov1948, in Parliament, a Muslim member gave an
open challenge that India will never be the same if it tried to bring in
Uniform Civil code and interfere with Muslim personal law. Its a shame that
we could not do anything on this till date! I even doubt whether we had any
subsequent debates in this regard at Parliament. The Hindu laws that were
different in different parts of the country had undergone a turbulent
change, courtesy, geographically united India. The appreciable factor is
Hindus accepted these changes of laws with grace. Child marriages were
banned, Sati was banned, widow re-marriage was encouraged, divorce was
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introduced, in heritance laws were amended and Hindus accepted all these
changes. They never complained of hurting their religious sentiments.
Those who oppose this law claim that this law is poking nose into their
religious practices. Narabali (human sacrifice), that was considered a
religious practice of Hindus is banned today. Hindus never protested this
stating that their religious practices are tampered with. There are Muslim
countries that follow Islamic laws. Still, the laws differ from one country to
another. This emphasizes that along with the personal laws, there has to be
laws that should be written considering the changing phenomenon and the
living style of the nation. Once again it is reiterated that this code is not
biased towards are religion but to bring in a level playing platform among
the citizens of India. Muslims in other countries accept uniform civil laws
where they do not consider this as a defeat whereas in India it is. This is the
result of the selective secularism adapted by the political parties, media and
the so-called learned men of India. It is a pity that in a democratic & secular
state, people have different laws based on their religion. Is it secular to
have different laws for different religion or it is secular to have a uniform
law? The approach of selective secularism had perpetuated the vertical
divide among the people of India in the name of religion. This resulted in
people having prejudice over this law itself. By bringing this code, neither
the majority public wins over the minorities nor are the minorities in
danger. Unless this prejudice is erased, bringing this law is difficult. The
leaders of this country owe responsibility to explain this to public & an
elaborate debate has to be held on this topic (which will never happen as
this is against secularism?).To make this debate on UCC healthy, Hindus
should not treat this as a weapon against minorities. Meanwhile, the
minorities should not feel that they lose by bringing this law.
6. Uniform Civil Code and Secularism a Debate
The Government, the press, the politicians, the academics and even the
minority organizations- none of them have taken any sort of active interest
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in the UCC. Thus we could easily infer from the attitude of people prevailing
these days that this concept has been ignored and at worst they have
spread false information and impression about it. But, if we see todays
scenario then India is more communalize then it was in 1947, so we
should realize that the concept of UCC had become very important and
need immediate concern. People, who were the founding fathers of
constitution as well as non-Muslims thought that a uniform civil code was
necessary for our national unity and secularism. But along with them there
are also few people who disagree about this concept like Prof. Paras Diwan
says The uniform civil code has nothing to do with Indianisation or national
integration or interfering with the religion of one community or the other.
7. simplicity in law
Uniform civil code provides clarity which arises out of simplicity. Different
religions had made the legal system a maze by creating rights for
individuals in some ways and taking them in another way depending upon
the religion they follow. Thus to create clarity forth rights available to all
individual uniformly, there is a requirement of uniform civil code.
Najmas case was not an isolated one. There was the historic case of Shah
Bano, which changed the political contours of the country, and there were
the saga of Saddiqunissa and the soul-stirring tale of Gudiya, who have been
at the receiving end of the obscurantist Islamic clerics, who have not even
spared tennis sensation Sania Mirza, pronouncing a fatwa against dress on
the court of play. A survey of Muslim women in Bihars Darbhanga district
some years ago, Sabina Hussein of the Delhi-based Centre for Womens
Development, found that 8% of Muslim women were divorced. Only three
out

of

eight

received

their mehr, and

that

too

in

paltry

irregular

installments.

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It is not for the first time that the courts came to help unfortunate Muslim
women. In 2002, the Bombay High Court, in landmark judgment had ruled,
A divorce between Muslim couples will have to be convincingly proved in a
court of law under the civil procedure code and Indian Evidence Act. A mere
statement, written or oral, by a man divorcing his wife wont be enough
proof of his having obtained a divorce. The 88-page ruling by a full bench
has now become a binding for the Maharashtra government. The judgment
came after hearing in a case filed by Dagdhu Pathan, a resident of Latur,
challenging the maintenance claims by his wife Rahimbi. The judgment
clearly mentioned that for divorces to be deemed legal, husbands must
prove in court all requirements of procedure of a divorce under Muslim
laws, like reconciliation, arbitration and payment of mehr.
Saddiquinissa case, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court
pointed out that talaq could not be given by the husband in one instance
and only comes to force after a certain time which is meant for
reconciliation and arbitration by friends and relatives. It also ruled
that talaq has to be confirmed by a court, which has to hold that the
marriage was dissolved on valid grounds. Only then the talaq would become
legally acceptable. Over two decades back, another Muslim woman, Shah
Bano, asked a court to ensure support from her husband who had divorced
her after 43 years of marriage and thrown her out on the street. The
Supreme Court had at that time ruled it could not accept her husbands plea
that he was only bound by Islamic laws. A husband must assist his wife
financially after a divorce if she has no other means, it ruled.
The reader should recall that, while a Division Bench of the Bombay High
Court delivering its verdict on the Dilshad Begum and her husband
Ahmadkhan Hanifkhan Pathan case on January 21, 2007, Justice B H
Mariapalle ruled that, talaq, talaq, talaq, these three words were not
enough for a Muslim man to divorce his wife. Justice Mariapalle observed
17 | P a g e

that the talaq between Dilshad Begum and Ahmadkhan Hanifkhan Pathan
was not valid as the husband had not gone through the preconditions of
arbitration and reconciliation prescribed by the Muslim law. The reasons
for divorce, appointment of arbiters, the arbiters resorting to conciliation
proceedings and failure of such proceedings or a situation where it was
impossible for the marriage to continue, have not been proved in this case,
the Justice added.
It is to be noted here that even though India is a secular republic, its
citizens subject to uniform civil-law. Muslims enjoy a separate civil-code,
which is at par with the shariah law, including in laws of divorce, which
harshly oppresses Muslim women. But in criminal matters, they have
chosen to follow the Indian Penal Code, just to avoid harsh Islamic
punishments

like

flogging,

hanging,

beheading,

stoning

to

death,

amputation of limbs, and so on. The Indian Government practices this


double standard to appease Muslim leaders and clerics for their votes. As
a secular and democratic state, India should implement a common civil code
for all its citizens, but Muslim-appeasing political parties are reluctant to
implement the same for fear of losing Muslim votes.
There are many influential Muslim dignitaries, who occasionally speak in
favor of liberating Muslim women from oppressive Islamic laws, but do not
dare raise their voice for the implementation of the secular civil code for
Muslims like other religious groups. His Excellency APJ Abdul Kalam, the
ex-President of India, once said, As we all know, birds have two wings.
Unless both the wings grow equally, the bird cannot fly. Similarly, the
society has two wings, man and women. Both have to be developed equally.
Then the society will fly. But after the Supreme Court ruling on April 21,
2006, mentioned above, a strong debate across the country began
regarding

the

implementation

of

uniform

civil

code

for

all.

But,

18 | P a g e

unfortunately, Dr Kalam maintained silence as a mark of his tacit support to


orthodox mullahs.
However, only if Government of India would stop politics of Muslim
appeasement and show courage to implement the uniform civil code upon
all its citizens, regardless of religious affiliations, would liberate Muslim
women of this country from the oppressive Islamic law of polygamy and
triple talaq.
SUCCESSION AND INHERITANCE
This area throws up even more intractable problems. In Hindu law, there is
a distinction between a joint family property and self acquired property
which is not so under the Muslim law. The Hindu Undivided Family (HUF),
formed under the Hindu law, run businesses and own agricultural lands.
Under the UCC, this institution of HUF, peculiar to the Hindus, has to be
abolished. There are also fetters imposed on the extent to which one can
bequeath property by will under the Muslim law. Considering all these, the
UCC should be included. The law which is applicable on Parsi and Christian
with regard to the succession i.e. The Indian Succession Act, 1925 should
be considering while framing UCC for Succession laws in India. Thus due to
all above reasons it is felt that the formation of Uniform Civil code is the
prime necessity in todays time for our nation. Lastly, a very real fear has
begun to make itself felt, which is that if we do not make efforts now to
move towards the UCC, and as the majority loses patience, we shall lose the
littlie ground that we have gained
According to the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance..
Sec-18 Maintenance of wife-

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(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a Hindu wife, whether married
before or after the commencement of this Act, shall be entitled to be
maintained by her husband during her lifetime.
(2) A Hindu wife shall be entitled to live separately from her husband
without forfeiting her claim to maintenance,(A) if he is guilty of desertion, that is to say, of abandoning her without
reasonable cause and without her consent or against her wish, or of willfully
neglecting her;
(b) If he has treated her with such cruelty as to cause a reasonable
apprehension in her mind that it will be harmful or injurious to live with her
husband;
(c) If he is suffering from a virulent form of leprosy;
(d) If he has any other wife living;
(e) If he keeps a concubine in the same house in which his wife is living or
habitually resides with a concubine elsewhere;
(f) If he has ceased to be a Hindu by conversion to another religion;
(g) If there is any other cause justifying her living separately?
(3) A Hindu wife shall not be entitled to separate residence and
maintenance from her husband if she is unchaste or ceases to be a Hindu by
conversion to another religion.

According to Hindu marriage actSec- 24 Maintenance Pendent late and expenses proceedings. Where in
any proceeding under this Act it appears to the court that either the

wife

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or the husband, as the case may be, has no independent respondent, it may
seem to the court to be reasonable.
(Where it appears to Court that the wife or the husband, as the case may
be, has no independent income sufficient for her support and the necessary
expenses of the proceedings, it may grant interim maintenance to the wife.)
Sec-25

Permanent alimony and maintenance. (1)Any

court exercising

jurisdiction under this Act may, at the time of passing any decree or
any time subsequent thereto, on application made to it for the
by either the wife or the husband, as the case may be, order
respondent shall pay to the applicant for her or his

at

purpose
that the

maintenance and

support such gross sum or such monthly or periodical sum for a term not
exceeding the life of the applicant as, having
own income and other property, if any, the
the applicant, the conduct of the

regard to the respondent's

income and other property of

parties and other circumstances of the

case it may seem to the court

to be just, and any such payment may be

secured, if necessary,

charge on the immovable property of the

by

respondent.

(2) If the court is satisfied that there is a change in the circumstances


of either party at any time after it has made an order
(1), it may at the instance of either party, vary,

under sub-section

modify or rescind any such

order in such manner as the court may deem just.

(3) If the court is satisfied that the party in whose favor an

order has

been made under this section has re-married or, if such party is the wife,
that she has not remained chaste, or, if such party is the husband, that he
has had sexual intercourse with any woman

outside wedlock, it may at

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the instance of the other party vary,

modify or rescind any such order in

such manner as the court may deem just.

Conclusion
I believe it is very essential that some progress is made towards a unified
civil code because ours is a secular country. Every one is supposed to be
equal under the eyes of the law, having different laws for different people
doesnt thus make sense. Religious laws tend to be archaic and seem to
even be patriarchal and detrimental towards women. Religion is a personal
thing and law is the interest of the public. Yes there are many roadblocks
towards the road to a uniform civil code and forcing everyone to adopt it is
not only a difficult choice it is also an ethical one.

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