New Delhi: In a move that is likely to trigger a heated political debate ahead of crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Centre has asked the Law Commission to "examine" the implications of implementing the uniform civil code.
This is the first time that the Law Commission, which has a crucial advisory role on legal reform, has been asked by a government to look into uniform civil code, according to a report by The Economic Times.
A uniform civil code will set common personal laws for all citizens, irrespective of the religion, setting aside the current form of different set of personal laws for different communities. There are different personal laws for Hindus and Muslims which cover property, marriage and divorce, inheritance and succession.
The law ministry has written to the Law Commission asking it to "examine the matter in relation to uniform civil code and submit a report". The ministry has also sent documents relating to existing case law and discussions on case law relating to the uniform civil code.
The Law Commission, currently headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, will submit its report after discussions with experts and stakeholders, the ET report said.
Article 44 of the Directive Principles, enshrined in the Constitution, sets implementation of uniform civil code as the "duty of the State".
In December last year, the Supreme Court had declined to entertain a public interest petition seeking direction to parliament to enact a uniform civil code to put an end to alleged discrimination being faced by Muslim women.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur said that it is for parliament to take a call on the issue and it was not in the realm of the apex court to issue a direction on this.
Various Muslim bodies and politicians from the community have opposed any move to bring Uniform Civil Code in the country. Whereas, Hindu right wing groups and BJP have since long demanded to implement the UCC.