Home Dehradun On UCC, U’khand shows way to rest of the country

On UCC, U’khand shows way to rest of the country

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By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun/Madrid, 2 Jul: On the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Uttarakhand has shown the way to the rest of the country. The draft of UCC law in Uttarakhand has already been finalised by the drafting committee headed by Justice (Retd) Ranjana Desai  and comprising  of senior IAS (Retd) officer Shatrughna Singh, Prof Surekha Dangwal, who is currently the Vice Chancellor of Doon University and social activist Manu Gaur.
Recently in a press conference, Justice Desai had informed that the committee had finalised its draft for the UCC in Uttarakhand which would soon be submitted to the government as now it is being printed.
It may be recalled that BJP Government in Uttarakhand before the last assembly elections held last year had promised in the party manifesto to bring in Uniform Civil Code. The then new CM had announced his promise and after the party had received the mandate to retain power comfortably in the state, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh ensured that the first decision his government took was in respect of UCC. The government had in May 2022 constituted a committee of experts headed by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and comprising of retired IAS officer Shatrughna Singh, Prof Surekha Dangwal and social activist Manu Gaur as members to draft the UCC law.
This initiative of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has won him praise and accolades across the country and as such Uttarakhand has now become a leading state to be implementing the Uniform Civil Code in the state. Sources claimed that the government could accord its nod soon in the cabinet meeting to the draft and then bring it in the next assembly session for enforcement as a law.
This initiative of Dhami has not only won him accolades but the draft prepared by the committee is likely to become a template for the union government for UCC Act.  Of course sources admitted that the UCC of the Centre will be of wider aspect and will cover many other subjects which strictly fall in Centre’s domain as compared to the state’s draft.
However, the sources claimed that the besides the basic framework of the UCC Act, the committee has also prepared its recommendations which may prove useful for the Centre while preparing its draft.
Sources further add that the Union government is expected to take it up in the winter session of Parliament. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, headed by BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi, has convened a meeting of the panel tomorrow to hear the views of the Department of Legal Affairs, Legislative Department and the Law Commission of India on the June 14 public notice by the Law Commission on the UCC. Sources said the draft Uttarakhand Bill, with an underlying theme of gender equality, will have provisions of equal rights for daughters and sons in property inheritance, equal duty of both to parents and equal grounds for adoption and divorce in all communities, cutting across religions. It will also have provisions that will make a declaration mandatory to start and terminate live-in relationships.
Unlike the Law Commission of India, which can advise the government on legal reform with its report, the Uttarakhand expert committee under Justice Desai has the mandate to oversee implementation of the UCC in the state.