ISSN (O) : 2584-1378


AUTHOR'S NAME: Tanya Jaiswal
INSTITUTION - School Of Legal Studies, LNCTU



Uniform Civil Code is a very controversial and hot topic of discussion in India for decades, every possible person is discussing this topic as a political debate and making arguments. India is a diverse and multicultural country that prides itself on unity in diversity. One area where this diversity manifests itself is in the personal laws that govern matters such as divorce, inheritance, adoption and marriage. India follows personal laws based on an individual’s religion. Conversely, the idea of the Uniform Civil Code asserts that “One Nation – One Law.Article 44 of the Principal State Policy of the Indian Constitution defines the Uniform Civil Code as follows: “THE STATE SHALL ENDEAVOUR TO PROVIDE SINGLE CITIZENSHIP TO ITS CITIZENS CODE (UCC) ALL OVER THE TERRITORY OF INDIA.” The goal of the Uniform Civil Code is to supersede all personal laws with a single body of legislation that governs each citizen’s private matters. Currently, distinct personal laws apply to different religious communities in India, such as the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and others. Personal laws cover things like guardianship, inheritance, divorce, and marriage. Even if the goal of these regulations is to uphold the rights and customs of certain religious communities, they frequently cause disparities and injustices. Equality and consistency are the primary objectives of the Uniform Civil Code, irrespective of a person’s religious affiliation. By doing away with regulations that discriminate, it aims to advance social justice and gender equality.


In terms of private concerns, all people of a nation would be subject to the same uniform set of laws, known as the Uniform Civil Code, regardless of their religious affiliation. These private affairs encompass marriage, divorce, inheritance, and related topics. Rather than creating separate laws for various religious communities, the Uniform Civil Code aims to guarantee that everyone in the nation abides by the same norms when it comes to these private concerns (such as Hindus, Muslims, Christians and others). This would lessen the impact of religious regulations on personal concerns and encourage legal equality and consistency. Since it deals with delicate matters pertaining to religious and cultural diversity, the concept of a unified civil code is frequently the focus of discussion and controversy. Supporters claim it will advance individual rights and gender equality, while detractors worry about how diverse groups’ unique cultural and religious identities would be preserved.


Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part Four of the Indian Constitution provides an overview of the Uniform Civil Code. It stipulates that “the State shall endeavour to provide its citizens with a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) throughout the territory of India” . Article 44’s primary goal is to provide all Indian residents, regardless of their faith, with a uniform set of rules regulating personal concerns including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and property. At the moment, several religious communities in India—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others—are governed by distinct personal laws. This may result in differences depending on one’s faith in areas like inheritance, divorce, and marriage. The purpose of Article 44 and the Uniform Civil Code is to promote social cohesion, gender equality and justice by ensuring that laws relating to personal matters are the same for all citizens regardless of their religion. However, the practical implementation of the Uniform Civil Code has been subject to debate and has not been fully implemented in India due to concerns related to religious and cultural diversity. It is important to understand that Article 44 is a directive principle, meaning that it is not legally binding and enforcement is at the discretion of the government. The debate surrounding the Uniform Civil Code in India continues and any potential changes would require a complex and carefully considered legal and political process.


The October 1840 Lex loci Report stressed the need for consistency and standardisation of Indian laws pertaining to crime, contract, and proof during the pre-independence era, when the East India Company (1757–1858) strove to reform native laws and impose Western concepts. It was advised against including personal laws into this codification, nevertheless. One of the main components of the British Empire’s divide and conquer strategy was the division of personal laws. The “Queens’ Proclamation of 1859” guaranteed complete non-intervention in matters of religion. Prominent post-colonial Indians, including Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as other women leaders, voiced a strong desire to establish a standard civil code for the country during the 1947 creation of the Indian Constitution. The introduction of the Uniform Civil Code was suggested by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the chair of the Constitution Drafting Committee, who felt that it would foster equality and togetherness among all people, regardless of their sex, caste, or religion. However, the implementation of a universal civil code throughout India was not practicable due to criticism and disagreement from several elements of Muslim society, Hindu society, and minority groups. Instead, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, recommended that unwanted elements be removed from each community’s particular laws. The authors of the Constitution were forced to incorporate the Uniform Civil Code under the Directive Principles of State Policy, not under the fundamental rights, because of these conflicting views and worries.


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a contentious and widely discussed issue. It is extremely difficult to apply UCC in a multicultural and varied nation like India, and Indians have their own theories on why it should not be adopted there. The implementation of Uniform Civil Code in India is not without its problems and some of them are:


India, a country known for its diversity, is the biggest challenge for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). India is a nation of diverse religions, each with their own unique personal laws rooted in their customs and traditions. The introduction of UCC in India could be seen as interfering with the religious and cultural rights of the people


All Indians and religious organisations are guaranteed the freedom of religion by Articles 25 to 28 of the Indian Constitution. The Uniform Civil Code’s codification may restrict the extent of this religious freedom, and it can be challenging to strike a balance between upholding the right to practice one’s religion freely and advancing the secularist ideal.


The idea of ​​a uniform civil code has been a constant goal in India since the creation of the Constitution. However, due to political opposition, it was incorporated into the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP). Politicians are often reluctant to promote UCC due to fears of alienating voters from particular communities and religions.


Many people, around half of the population, have no knowledge of the subject and are unaware of the concept. They blindly trust the political views of the party that manipulates their views for votes. Because of this lack of knowledge, implementing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) can be challenging. It is essential to ensure that people understand the UCC correctly.


Harmonizing laws regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance and other personal matters can be legally complex. It requires considerable legal knowledge and resources.


Convincing the general public of the benefits of UCC and addressing their concerns is essential. Social acceptance is a significant challenge.


  • In “MOHAMMAD AHMED KHAN v. SHAH BANO BEGUM”, is a landmark judgment revolving around the issue of maintenance for divorced Muslim women. In this case, Shah Bano, a Muslim woman was asked for maintenance from her husband after a divorce. The central issue was whether Muslim women were entitled to maintenance after the “iddat period” under Muslim personal law, or if they could claim maintenance under secular law, which applies to people of other religions in India. The Supreme Court of India found in favour of Shah Bano in its 1985 ruling, holding that she was entitled to maintenance under secular law—that is, Section 125 of the Criminal Code (CRPC), which is applicable to all persons regardless of religion. The necessity for a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to establish a standard set of rules for all people regardless of their religious beliefs was hotly debated in India as a result of this ruling. Chief Justice Y.V Chandrachud observed that the Uniform Civil Code will help remove disparate loyalties to the law and the court directed Parliament to draft the UCC, Rajiv Gandhi was not happy with the court’s decision, instead of supporting the court’s decision, he legislated for Muslim women (protection of the right to divorce) 1986 law that overturned the shah bano court decision and overruled Muslim personal law in the matter of
  • In “SARLA MUDGAL (Smt.), AND OTHERS v. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS, the Supreme Court of India ruled that, in accordance with Hindu law, a Hindu spouse who converts to Islam only in order to engage in bigamy does not lose his previous marriage. throughout order to resolve concerns pertaining to the personal laws of different religious communities, the court further underlined the necessity of establishing a standard civil code throughout India. This case brought to light the intricacy of Indian personal laws and the requirement for legislative changes to advance gender equality.
  • In “SHYRA BANO v. UNION OF INDIA, the Supreme Court of India held that the practice of “Triple Talaq” (Talaq-e-Bid’ah), which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by pronouncing “talaq” (divorce) three times in one session, is unconstitutional and void. The court ruled that this practice is not a necessary part of Islam and violates the basic rights of Muslim women, especially their right to equality and dignity. The Supreme Court ruling in this case banned the practice of triple talaq and provided relief to Muslim women who were often left vulnerable and without legal recourse due to the instant and irrevocable nature of this form of divorce.


One hotly contested idea is the Uniform Civil Code, which calls for a uniform set of laws for all people, regardless of gender, caste, or religion. India is a multicultural nation with a wide range of personal laws and faiths. Every religious group has its own set of rules, most of which are derived from long-standing practices, traditions, and rituals that are frequently out of date with modern society. There is a great deal of disparity, inequality, and distinction among citizens as a result of these personal laws. Creating a Uniform Civil Code is a difficult but doable endeavour. The head of the Constitution drafting committee, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, had also expressed a strong desire for India to embrace the UCC. However, due to a lot of criticism and opposition from both Hindu and Muslim societies, the UCC was not accepted as a fundamental right but was added to the Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 44. It has always been a debatable topic for all political parties aiming to gain community votes. The BJP is a party that has promised to implement a Uniform Civil Code in India if they were to be elected int power. We do not know whether it will be adopted or not, whether all religious communities will accept it, and whether they will let go of their personal laws. Whatever the decision of the legislature will be, in my opinion, the people of the country need the Uniform Civil Code for the sake of equality, to eliminate disparities and differentiation among citizens. With time, everything evolves, and now is the time to replace personal laws with the same set of laws for every citizen of the country.

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