Bill on Uniform Civil Code to be July flashpoint
According to sources, at a high-level meeting chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday, he expressed his keenness to introduce the bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament in July.
NEW DELHI: With Lok Sabha elections just a year away, the Centre seems to be moving in the direction of implementing its long-time poll promise of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country. According to sources, at a high-level meeting chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday, he expressed his keenness to introduce the bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament in July.
The meeting was attended by Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, top officials from various departments, BJP president J P Nadda, RSS joint general secretary Arun Kumar among others. According to sources, Shah said that the bill should be ready by July.
With Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh scheduled for the second half of this year, the party may be banking on the UCC card. Shah said last year that the BJP is committed to implementing a UCC after discussions and by following all democratic processes.
Last month, Mehta told the Supreme Court that the Centre is in favour of a UCC, adding its enacting is within the domain of Parliament and not courts. Rijiju had earlier told Parliament that the 22nd Law Commission will examine various issues pertaining to the UCC and make recommendations.
The 21st Law Commission in its working paper said that a UCC is “neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”. It observed that “Difference does not always imply discrimination in a robust democracy. So a unified nation does not necessarily need to have uniformity.”
Speaking to this newspaper, a former member of the 21st Law Commission said, “Our commission took two-and-a-half years to prepare a working paper on UCC. It needs elaborate consultation with all stakeholders.” The member also pointed out that the Muslim personal laws will have to be codified before embarking on drafting laws for the UCC.
22nd Law Commission
The 22nd Law Commission is headed by former Karnataka High Court chief justice Rituraj Awasthi, who headed a bench that heard in the hijab ban case. Its member Justice K T Sankaran had coined the love jihad phrase for the first time in 2009 during his tenure in Kerala HC