By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 2 Feb: The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) draft, which was submitted to the CM, today, will be presented for approval of the Cabinet at the meeting scheduled for tomorrow. After the cabinet’s approval, it will be presented in the state assembly on 6 February.
The Drafting Committee was chaired by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Prakash Desai, Justice (Retd) OP Kohli, former Chief Secretary Uttarakhand, Shatrughna Singh, Vice Chancellor of Doon University Prof Surekha Dangwal and social activist Manu Gaur.
According to sources, some of the important proposed provisions in the UCC include raising the minimum age of marriage for girls irrespective of religion and compulsory declaration of live-in relationships. The Committee claims that the provision raising the minimum age of marriage for girls has been brought to ensure that they can get proper education before their marriage and to ensure that they are mature enough to enter marital life.
In addition, the UCC draft also provides for mandatory registration of marriage. Without registration, the couple will not get the benefit of any government facility. Facility will be provided for marriage registration at the village level, also. Another important provision in the UCC is mandatory declaration of live-in relationships. This provision has been incorporated in view of rising cases of live-in relationships and to ensure safety and security of girls going in for such relationships.
In addition, the UCC provides for equal and same grounds for divorce to, both, husband and wife irrespective of the religion. At present, under personal law, husbands and wives have different grounds for divorce in various religions. Polygamy or polyandry will also be totally banned in the state. At present, in some tribal areas and in some communities, particularly from the minorities, polygamy is permissible and practiced.
One very important provision is that girls will get equal share in inheritance as boys. Till now, according to personal law, the share of the boy is either equal or more than that of the girl as per the provisions of the Personal Laws applicable to some minority sections.
The UCC also aims to ban Halala and Iddat rituals in a particular community which many believe to be exploitative of women. So far, Muslim women have no right to adopt children but, under the UCC, they will have the right to adopt. The compensation given to the wife on the death of her employed son will also include the responsibility of maintaining the elderly parents.
In case of a quarrel between husband and wife, the provision has been made to hand over the custody of children to the grandparents.