Uniform Civil Code: There’s total confusion, why can’t it be done, SC asks govt

A bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh questioned the government about its mandate on framing the Uniform Civil Code so that all religions are regulated by the same yardsticks in matters of law.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: October 13, 2015 9:41 am
Uniform Civil Code, personal laws, religious practices, Supreme Court, Uniform Civil Code India, NDA government, india news, india uniform civil code, civil code, Indian express The bench was hearing a petition, challenging the legal provision that compels Christian couples to wait for at least two years for divorce, whereas this period of separation is one year for other religions. (Illustration by: Pradeep Yadav)

Underlining “total confusion” owing to personal laws governing religious practices, the Supreme Court sought to know from the government Monday whether it is willing to bring the Uniform Civil Code in the country. It asked the Solicitor General to seek the government’s view and posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

A bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh questioned the government about its mandate on framing the Uniform Civil Code so that unvarying standards are ushered in and all religions are regulated by the same yardsticks in matters of law.

“There is total confusion… we should work on the Uniform Civil Code. What happened to it? If you (government) want to do it, then you should do it. Why don’t you frame and implement it,” the bench asked the counsel appearing for the Centre.

The bench was hearing a petition, challenging the legal provision that compels Christian couples to wait for at least two years for divorce, whereas this period of separation is one year for other religions.

Watch Video: What Happened To Uniform Civil Code, SC Asks Govt

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In previous hearings, the bench had been apprised by the government that it had agreed to consider amending Section 10A (1) of the Divorce Act and the Law Ministry had also initiated a proposal.

Christians file for divorce under Section 10A (1) which states that a petition for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent can be presented before a court only after a judicial separation of two years. However, the period of separation is one year in other statutes such as the Special Marriage Act, the Hindu Marriage Act and the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act.

During the hearing Monday, the bench was displeased that even three months after the last date, the provision had not been amended. “What happened? Why this cannot be done? You should tell us if you want to do it,” the bench said as the government counsel sought some more time.

Dissatisfied with the counsel’s response, the bench then sought assistance of Solicitor General of India Ranjit Kumar who was present in court to attend some other matter. It asked Kumar about the government’s position with respect to bringing uniformity in the divorce laws across religions.

Kumar said he was not aware of the case and would require some time to go through the papers for properly assisting the bench on the issue as well as to get instructions from the authority concerned regarding the amendment in law. The bench asked the Solicitor General to also seek the government’s views on the Uniform Civil Code and posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

In the last hearing, the court said Section 10A (1) lacked rationale and asked the government why it did not amend the law even after some high courts held it to be violative of Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty).

While hearing a separate matter in February, a bench led by Justice Sen had asserted: “We have to stamp out religion from civil laws. It is very necessary. There are already too many problems.”

The bench was then hearing a PIL by advocate Clarence Pais who wanted the apex court to put its stamp of approval on the decrees of divorce and other such decrees issued by an ecclesiastical court or tribunal. An ecclesiastical court, set up under the Canon Law, is an institution for Catholic Christians.

“This cannot be accepted, otherwise every religion will say it has a right to decide various issues as a matter of its personal law. We don’t agree with this at all. It has to be done though a decree of a court,” the court had observed.

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  1. K
    Kanu Patel
    Oct 13, 2015 at 4:58 am
    PM INTENDS TO ABOLISH UNNECESSARY LAWS. PM SHOULD PICK THE CHANCE TO PROCESS FOR UNIFORM CIVIL LAWS.
    Reply
    1. C
      Chetan Chauhan
      Oct 13, 2015 at 9:35 pm
      UCC pertains to period AFTER marriage & divorce. Also some civilized parameters like banning polygamy. I don't think court cares whether you did civil marriage or flew to the moon to marry
      Reply
      1. K
        K SHESHU
        Oct 13, 2015 at 8:18 am
        Every religion has its own strenghs and weakness. Why point out one religion? Let every religious representatives come together and form uniform codes for all important matters.
        Reply
        1. A
          Anon
          Oct 14, 2015 at 2:10 am
          a 4 year old stani Hindu is also in need of Medical Help suffering from heat problem, which was denied to her because of her religion. She is now living in Delhi refugee camp. Lets see how many of your humanity walas will come to help her. She need 6-8 lac for heart surgery and pacemaker. to help her visit FB page - 'Who am I- stani or Indian' or fb dot com / whoamip2p this is real news not fake.
          Reply
          1. A
            Anon
            Oct 14, 2015 at 1:34 am
            Yez to UCC, No to Perzonal Law of Muzzratz, No to Polygamy Cloze down Muzz Perzonal Law Board Lulz
            Reply
            1. A
              aalok
              Oct 21, 2015 at 3:29 am
              Refer shah bano case. it's not his own problem. It's problem of an entire community who wants to suppress basic human rights of woman.
              Reply
              1. A
                aalok
                Oct 21, 2015 at 3:22 am
                why u r commenting with no sense. why you are only limiting the UCC as the way of life. The basis of UCC must be on human right basis, because what's problem with the current law is it doesn't give equal right to each citizen.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Abhijit Bhattacharya
                  Oct 13, 2015 at 6:56 pm
                  It is surprising that the leaders of this government who have been chest thumping all these years for uniform civil code is now don't know what to do. Everything what the feku government talks and does is nothing but fake
                  Reply
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