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Current Affairs 2023

Uniform Civil Code - UPSC Current Affairs

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. It comes under Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a UCC for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

Jan 13, 2023

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The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a topic that has been at the forefront of Indian politics for over a century. The UCC calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would be applicable to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Indian Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavor to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.

 

The objective of Article 44 of the Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution was to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonize diverse cultural groups across the country. Dr. B R Ambedkar, while formulating the Constitution, had said that a UCC is desirable but for the moment it should remain voluntary, and thus the Article 35 of the draft Constitution was added as a part of the Directive Principles of the State Policy in part IV of the Constitution of India as Article 44. It was incorporated in the Constitution as an aspect that would be fulfilled when the nation would be ready to accept it and the social acceptance to the UCC could be made.

 

The origin of the UCC dates back to colonial India when the British government submitted its report in 1835 stressing the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidence, and contracts, specifically recommending that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside such codification.

 

One of the most important legislations that dealt with personal issues in the far end of British rule was the Hindu Code Bill. The draft of the Rau Committee report was submitted to a select committee chaired by B R Ambedkar that came up for discussion in 1951 after the adoption of the Constitution. While discussions continued, the Hindu Code Bill lapsed and was resubmitted in 1952. The bill was then adopted in 1956 as the Hindu Succession Act to amend and codify the law relating to intestate or unwilled succession, among Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. The Act reformed the Hindu personal law and gave women greater property rights, and ownership.

 

It is important to note the difference between civil laws and criminal laws in India. While criminal laws in India are uniform and applicable equally on all, no matter what their religious beliefs are, civil laws are influenced by faith. Personal laws, which come into effect in civil cases, have always been implemented according to constitutional norms.

 

In conclusion, the Uniform Civil Code is a topic that has been at the center of political narrative and debate for over a century in India. The objective of Article 44 of the Directive Principles in the Indian Constitution was to address the discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonize diverse cultural groups across the country. The Hindu Code Bill is one of the most important legislations that dealt with personal issues in the far end of British rule and reformed the Hindu personal law and gave women greater property rights, and ownership. The difference between civil laws and criminal laws in India is important to note as while criminal laws in India are uniform, civil laws are influenced by faith and personal laws.

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