Exemption of any community cannot be called a uniform code: All India Muslim Personal Law Board

Exemption of any community cannot be called a uniform code: All India Muslim Personal Law Board

Reacting on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly, Executive Member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said on February 6 that uniformity cannot be brought in each and every law. 

Mahali further added, "If you exempt any community from this UCC, how can it be called a uniform code? There was no need for any such uniform civil code. After the draft is presented before the Assembly, our legal team will study this and then the further course of action will be decided".

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill was tabled in the Uttarakhand Assembly by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on February 6. This bill, if passed into law, will mark Uttarakhand as the first state in India after Independence to adopt a UCC, following Goa's example which has had a common family law since the Portuguese colonial era.

The UCC bill proposes to establish uniform laws governing marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance for all citizens, irrespective of their religion. This move is seen as a fulfillment of a major promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during the 2022 Assembly elections, where they secured a landslide victory for a second consecutive term.

The tabling of the bill was met with mixed reactions in the Assembly. While the treasury benches welcomed it with desk-thumping and patriotic chants, the opposition raised concerns about not being given sufficient time to study the bill's provisions. Despite these protests, Speaker Ritu Khanduri assured that there would be ample time for debate.

The UCC bill is the culmination of extensive public dialogue, deliberation, and suggestions, including a reported complete ban on polygamy and child marriage. A five-member committee led by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai had presented a draft to the Chief Minister after considering over 232,961 suggestions from the public.

Other BJP-ruled states like Gujarat and Assam have expressed interest in following Uttarakhand's lead should the UCC become law. The bill's introduction is a step towards creating a consistent legal framework across different communities within the state, aiming to replace personal laws based on religious scriptures with a common law for all, regardless of religion, caste, creed, sexual orientation, and gender.

As the bill awaits debate and potential passage in the Assembly, it represents a pivotal moment in India's ongoing discourse on the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code, a subject that has been a point of contention and discussion in the country's socio-political landscape for many years.

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