Uttarakhand Becomes First State To Implement Uniform Civil Code, UCC Bill Passed In Assembly

Uttarakhand Becomes First State To Implement Uniform Civil Code, UCC Bill Passed In Assembly

While tabling the bill in state assembly, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami said, "The Uniform Civil Code will give the right to equality to everyone without any discrimination."

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Wednesday, February 07, 2024, 06:34 PM IST
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Uttarakhand on Wednesday became the first Indian state to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) after the UCC bill was passed in the state's legislative assembly. Amidst chants of "Jai Shri Ram" in the Assembly, the bill was passed by voice vote. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami presented the bill, aiming to establish uniform marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws for all citizens regardless of their religion.

While tabling the bill in state assembly, CM Dhami said, "The Uniform Civil Code will give the right to equality to everyone without any discrimination on matters like marriage, maintenance, inheritance and divorce... The UCC will mainly remove the discrimination against women... The UCC will assist in eradicating the injustice and wrong deeds against women. It is time to stop the atrocities against the 'Matrishakti'... The discrimination against our sisters and daughters has to stop... Half of the population should now get equal rights."

"Unity in diversity is a quality of India. The bill speaks of that unity... Our constitution is secular. The constitution removes the shortcomings of our society and strengthens the social structure... We are going to bring a law that brings everyone above religion, sect, and community and unites everyone," Dhami said during his speech.

"India is a vast nation and it presents ample opportunities for states to make significant strides and set precedents that can influence the entire country. Our state has got the opportunity to make history and provide a guiding path for the nation as a whole. It is imperative that other states across the country also embark on a similar trajectory, aligning their efforts towards fulfilling the aspirations and ideals set forth by the makers of the Constitution," CM Dhami said.

UCC committee held 72 meetings to finalise draft

The UCC Committee conducted a thorough process, with Uttarakhand Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal stating that it held 72 meetings and received suggestions from over 2,72,000 individuals via emails and WhatsApp. Various members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed support for the UCC Bill.

Key highlights of the bill

Key highlights of the bill include provisions concerning marriage, divorce, succession, live-in relationships, and related matters. Notably, the Uniform Civil Code Bill mandates the registration of live-in relationships under the law. Additionally, it enforces a complete ban on child marriage and introduces a standardized procedure for divorce. The Code ensures equal rights for women of all religions regarding ancestral property. According to the UCC Bill, the minimum age for marriage is set at 18 for women and 21 for men across all communities. Marriage registration is obligatory across all religions, and marriages conducted without registration will be deemed invalid. Furthermore, the bill stipulates that no divorce petition may be filed after one year of marriage.

UCC bill on marriages

Regarding marriage ceremonies, the UCC Bill recognises that marriages may be solemnised or contracted between a man and a woman in accordance with religious beliefs, customary rites, and ceremonies. This includes ceremonies such as "Saptapadt", "Ashirvad", "Nikah", "Holy Union," and "Anand Karaj" under the Anand Marriage Act 1909, as well as under Acts like The Special Marriage Act, 1954, and the Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937.

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