Uttarakhand becomes 1st State to pass UCC Bill

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While exempting the Scheduled Tribes from its purview, the bill proposes a common law for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami-led government passed the Uniform Civil Code Uttarakhand 2024 Bill (UCC) in the state’s legislative assembly on Tuesday. This bill was tabled during the ongoing four-day special assembly session that began on Monday. To subscribe please click tau.id/2iy6f and access our live channel.

Earlier on Sunday, the Uttarakhand Cabinet approved the final draft of the UCC which proposes uniform civil laws for all communities in the state. As the Bill has sailed through the assembly, now it will be sent to the governor. Once the governor approves it, it will become a law. 

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What is Uniform Civil Code

A Uniform Civil Code is conceptualised as a set of laws that govern personal matters, including marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, and succession, for all citizens regardless of religion. It aims to replace the existing diverse personal laws that vary based on religious affiliations.

Understanding Uttarakhand’s Bill

The Uttarakhand government had formed a panel – led by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai – to prepare a draft for the UCC in 2022. A draft report of over 740 pages comprising four volumes was prepared by retired justice Pramod Kohli, social activist Manu Gaur, former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh, and Vice Chancellor of Doon University, Surekha Dangwal.

The UCC Bill includes:

  • Equal property rights for sons and daughters.
  • Complete Ban on child marriage
  • Complete ban on Polygamy.
  • Elimination of the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children
  • Equal property rights after death
  • Inclusion of adopted and biological children in property inheritance.

According to CM Dhami, the UCC Bill is an outcome of public dialogue, deliberation, and suggestions. To prepare the report, the panel collected lakhs of feedback, written and online, held several public forums and 43 public outreach programs, and engaged with over 60,000 people.

Other States to table UCC

BJP-ruled state Rajasthan is now planning to imply Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill indicating that the ministers will table in the next Assembly session after the Lok Sabha polls thus becoming the second State to do so in the country. So far, only Goa had UCC, which was enacted by the Portuguese in 1867.

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