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Law Commission writes to heads of political parties, seeks views on Uniform Civil Code

The Law Commission has written to all national and state political parties asking them to share their views over uniform civil code.

India TV Politics Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: October 26, 2016 17:37 IST ]
A group of Muslim women protesting against triple talaq

As the debate over uniform civil code grows intense, the Law Commission is widening its consultation on the contentious issue and has written to all national and state political parties asking them to share their views. 

In the letter addressed to heads of all national and state political parties enrolled with the Election Commission, the law commission has asked them to submit their views by November 21 and also plans to invite their representatives for interaction on the subject. 

The Election Commission has recognised seven parties at the national level and 49 at the state level. The seven national parties are BJP, Congress, BSP, NCP, CPI, CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress.

The panel has sent a questionnaire on the subject to the parties and asked them to send their views by November 21. Should the practice of triple talaq be abolished and whether a uniform civil code should be optional, the Law Commission questionnaire had on October 7 asked the people seeking their response on these sensitive issues, broached perhaps for the first time.

“The Commission, after several rounds of deliberations, has formulated a questionnaire to understand what does the general public feel about the uniform civil code.

“Since political parties are the backbone of any successful democracy, their opinion, not only with regard to the questionnaire, but also any other input pertaining to this aspect, is very important,” law panel chairman Justice (Retd) B S Chauhan has written to heads of all political parties.

In an effort to have maximum consultation on the issue, he has asked them to communicate their views on the subject.

The Commission has said that it would also invite representatives of political parties at a later date to interact with them on the controversial subject.

“Your cooperation would go a long way in assisting the commission to bring out an impeccable report on the uniform civil code,” he said in the letters to BJP’s Amit Shah, Congress’ Sonia Gandhi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s Asaduddin Owaisi and others. 

A few days ago, Chauhan had urged chief ministers to use their influence to encourage minority groups, political parties and even government departments to respond to its questionnaire.

In a letter to all chief ministers, Chauhan had asked them to “encourage” various stakeholders in their states such as minority groups, political parties, NGOs, civil society initiatives and even government departments and agencies to share their views and interact with the panel.

In an appeal issued along with the consultation paper, the Commission had said the objective behind the endeavour is to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise the various cultural practices.

It has assured the people that the “norms of no one class, group or community will dominate the tone and tenor of family law reforms”.

Earlier today, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu promised that the Uniform Civil Code will not be brought through the back door and without a consensus.

The minister rejected the charge that contentious issues have been raked up by BJP to polarise elections, especially in Uttar Pradesh. 

"We are not discussing about the common civil code or uniform civil code as of now. The Law Commission has issued a questionnaire and asked people to react. 

"You cannot have a uniform Civil Code without a broad consensus. You have to work and move in that direction," he said hoping that the Supreme Court will come out with the right decision on the issue of triple talaq.

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