New Delhi, Jn. Date- 23 November. Day – Tuesday. Year 1948. Location- Constituent Assembly Hall of Parliament House, New Delhi. Time: Ten o’clock in the morning. Opportunity- Discussion on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the Constituent Assembly meeting. In this meeting chaired by the then Vice President HC Mukherjee, it was to be decided whether the UCC should be included in the Constitution or not.

Despite the chilling cold outside the auditorium, heated arguments of the pros and cons were going on inside. Seeing that an opinion was not formed, it was included in the Directive Principles of Policy of the Constitution. 73 years have passed. Today we are celebrating Amrit Mahotsav on 75 years of independence, but UCC could not be implemented. Article 37 of the Constitution states that it is the fundamental responsibility of the government to implement the Directive Principles.

No secular country should have different laws on religious grounds. But the Marriage Acts of different sects are applicable here. Until the Uniform Civil Code comes into force, the meaning of the country’s secular spirit as enshrined in the Constitution is unclear. The need for UCC has been felt since independence.

The first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru also took steps in this direction but only the Hindu Code Bill could be implemented. Constitution maker Bhimrao Ambedkar was also in favor of Uniform Civil Code, but when his government could not do this work, he left the post. Before this, the Law Commission is already working to implement it. Many times the Supreme Court has questioned the government regarding its implementation. In such a situation, to remove the feeling of pseudo-secularism, Uniform Civil Code i.e. One Nation One Law is the need of the hour.

Supreme Court truth

Shah Bano Case 1985

The Supreme Court said, ‘It is a matter of great sadness that Article 44 of our Constitution has become a dead letter. It provides that the government should create a ‘uniform civil code’ for all citizens, but there is no evidence of efforts at the government level to create it. The Uniform Civil Code will help in achieving the goal of national integrity by eliminating the separative attitude towards laws with conflicting views.

Sarla Mudgal Case 1995

The Supreme Court said, ‘How much more time will the government take to fulfill the wish of the framers of the constitution as expressed under Article 44 of the Constitution? The traditional Hindu law governing succession and marriage has long ago been codified in 1955-56. There is no justification for indefinitely suspending the Uniform Civil Code in the country. Some practices infringe on human rights and dignity. The throttling of human rights in the name of religion is not swaraj but merciless, so having a uniform civil code is absolutely necessary to protect from ruthlessness and strengthen national unity and integrity.’

John Balvattam Case 2003

The Supreme Court said, ‘It is a pity that Article 44 has not been implemented till date. Parliament is yet to take steps to implement a Uniform Civil Code in the country. Uniform Civil Code will be helpful in strengthening the unity and integrity of the country by removing ideological differences.

Shayra Banu Case 2017

The Supreme Court said, ‘We direct the government to consider making an appropriate legislation. We hope that a law will be made keeping in mind the Sharia reforms on the global stage and in Islamic countries. There is no reason for India to lag behind when the British Government can enforce one law for all through the Indian Penal Code.

Edited By: Sanjay Pokhriyal