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Uttarakhand: CM Pushkar Singh Dhami announces decision to implement Uniform Civil Code in the state

On Friday 27th of May, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced his decision to introduce the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state. Speaking at a public gathering in Champawat, he stated that the state government promised the adoption of UCC before the recent assembly elections and that it will be implemented soon.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “We have taken a decision to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the state. Uttarakhand will be the second state after Goa to implement this. We will bring UCC for the people irrespective of them being from any religion and section of the society.”

Meanwhile, the state government has been accused of playing divisive politics by the Congress party, which has been resisting the move. Pradeep Tamta, a Congress MP who spoke to Republic TV, accused the state government of playing divisive politics and demanded clarification on whether UCC is within state authority or not.

Tamta stated, “I see no universal demand for the UCC as Pushkar Dhami has been claiming. The Modi government has been ruling the country for the last 8 years, it is yet not clear whether UCC comes under the state jurisdiction or not.”

The Uniform Civil Code debate

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has long advocated for a Uniform Civil Code in the country. In civil affairs such as marriage, divorce, adoption, succession, and maintenance, the UCC supersedes personal laws and demands identical regulations for members of different religions. During the famous Shah Bano case in 1985, even the Supreme Court of India suggested UCC.

Uttarakhand CM Dhami had previously stated that the Uniform Civil Code would give a legal framework for all people, regardless of faith, for marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance, and that the reform would create social unity, eradicate gender-based discrimination, and boost women empowerment.

Earlier on May 2, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur declared that the UCC will be introduced in the state shortly. A debate over the UCC has started in numerous states throughout the nation, with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma also recently supporting it, stating that the UCC should be adopted in the best interests of Muslim women.

After Goa, Uttarakhand will be the second Indian state to adopt a UCC. Goa is currently the only state having a Uniform Civil Code, which dates back to the annexation of Goa. India has kept the 1867 Portuguese Civil Code, which applied to all state inhabitants, regardless of faith. All marriages in the state are required to be registered under the Goan Civil Code.

Article 44 (Part IV) of the Indian Constitution provides for the establishment of a Uniform Civil Code. The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) include UCC, which can be applied by state governments.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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