States Can Enact Laws on Uniform Civil Code

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States Can Enact Laws on Uniform Civil Code

Recently, the Supreme Court said that the state governments have the power to examine the feasibility of implementing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

What did the Supreme Court say?

  • The Court observed that the Constitution allows not only the Central Government but also the States to make laws on matters such as marriage, divorce and adoption.
  • Dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the Uttarakhand and Gujarat governments’ moves to set up panels to prepare a draft on the implementation of the UCC, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dhananjay Y. Chandrachud observed that such a code There is nothing unconstitutional in the committees constituted by the State Governments to examine the relevant aspects of the
  • A bench of Justice PS Narasimha referred to Entry 5 of the Concurrent List, under which both the Center and the States are empowered to jointly legislate on marriage and divorce, infants and minors, adoption, testamentary, intestate and succession.
  • The bench also referred to Article 162 of the Constitution, which states that the executive power of the State shall extend to such matters in which it is empowered to make laws.
  • The petitioner had argued that although Article 44 of the Constitution mentions about the Uniform Civil Code. But this is only a Directive Principle, which does not necessarily bind the State to move towards a common law for all communities and religions.
  • However, the top court rejected the petitioner’s counsel’s contention saying that there is nothing in the Constitution or any law to prevent a state from examining the feasibility of a Uniform Civil Code.

Uniform Civil Code:

  • The Uniform Civil Code provides for uniform law for the whole country as well as uniformity in the laws of marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc. for all religious communities.
  • Article 44 of the Constitution states that the State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.
  • Article-44 is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy mentioned in the Constitution.
  • Article 44 aims to strengthen the concept of a “secular democratic republic” as enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution

Source – The Hindu

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