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Uttarakhand Cabinet approves Uniform Civil Code report, Assembly Session to start today

Uttarakhand Cabinet approved the Uniform Civil Code report submitted to the state government by the UCC panel. The Bill on the same will now be presented in the Assembly for passage as the session begins on February 5.

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Dehradun Updated on: February 05, 2024 0:00 IST
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami
Image Source : PTI Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami

UCC: The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Sunday (February 4) approved the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) report in the cabinet meeting held at the Chief Minister's residence under the chairmanship of CM Pushkar Singh Dhami. The development comes on the eve of the commencement of the Assembly session which begins on February 5 and will go on till 8th of this month. According to sources, the Bill is likely to be tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday. 

The UCC drafting committee, led by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, submitted the draft to Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday.

On Saturday, under the chairmanship of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dhami, a cabinet meeting was held in the State Secretariat to discuss the draft report on the Uniform Civil Code.

CM Dhami said that the government will now strive to make the draft into an Act.

"During the cabinet meeting, today, the UCC report was approved. We will move forward in the direction to make it an Act," he said.

BJP’s UCC vow

During the Assembly elections in 2022, the BJP had vowed to introduce the UCC in the state if the party retained power. Giving it a push, the government, when formed after a thumping majority in the polls, constituted a panel on Uniform Civil Code under Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai on May 27, 2022.

Uniform Civil Code

The UCC proposes uniform civil laws for all communities in the state.The draft was handed over to the Chief Minister by the five-member committee headed by retired Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai. The UCC drafting panel also comprised retired justice Pramod Kohli, social activist Manu Gaur, former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh and Vice Chancellor of Doon University, Surekha Dangwal.

Once implemented, Uttarakhand will become the first Indian state after independence to adopt the UCC.The drafting panel was given a total of four extensions, the latest being 15 days in January this year.

The UCC will provide a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.The passage of the UCC Bill will mark the fulfillment of a major promise made by the BJP to the people of the state in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly polls.

Article 44 of the Constitution of India says that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) throughout the territory of India. The UCC proposes a common set of laws dealing with marriage, inheritance, adoption, and other matters.

The Uniform Civil Code has been a point of debate in the political corridors over the years, however, came to be highlighted after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June last year batted for the implementation of the legislation, in an address in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal.

What had PM said?

PM Modi said the country cannot run on two laws and that the Uniform Civil Code was in keeping with the founding principles and ideals of the Constitution.

"Today, people are being instigated in the name of UCC. How can the country run on two (laws)? The Constitution also talks of equal rights...Supreme Court has also asked to implement the UCC. These (opposition) people are playing vote bank politics," PM Modi had said in Bhopal.

(With ANI inputs)

ALSO READ | Uttarakhand Assembly session to begin from Feb 5, Uniform Civil Code Bill top agenda

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