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This article was written by Ankita Sharma a student of M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bangalore.

The rising corollary of Uniform Civil Code is tremendous in 21st century. With the revamp of the society in modern times, law must also change in such a way as not to affect the freedom of society in a democratic country. I, myself being a law student would like to consider the ‘de jure[1]’ implication of Uniform Civil Code.

Article 44 of Indian Constitution amplifies the importance significantly. It states that The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India. The Uniform Civil Code is focused under DPSP[2] and it helps in contriving the Indian National Integrity and exterminates those that are usually based on religion and caste. But if looked into the other side of the picture, it would be clearly seen that the reason behind resistance of the proposal of UCC[3] is because of the fear that it would destroy the traditional and cultural identity of minorities but ultimately they ended up with a substantial compromise.

In general context, the proposal of Uniform Civil code has mainly been initiated to supersede the personal laws that are based on customs, traditions and scriptures of considerable communities in India. Thus these laws cover the issues related to crumbles in divorce, marriage, inheritance, adoption and also maintenance which in turn relates back to the duty of state to implement the same in a proper authorized manner.

Uniform Civil Code became a most controversial subject of discussion in the modern politics especially during the Shah Bano’s case[4] in the year 1985. The debate concerning this basically focused on Muslim Law which is partially based on Shariat Act, 1937 giving permission for polygamy and unrestricted right to Husband to pronounce talaq. The Court during this ongoing case also regretted the fact that Article 44 of Constitution of India which intended to bring Uniform Civil Code in India remained a barren literature. Apparently with regard to the same court held that Uniform Civil Code will eventually help the cause of National integration which will further help in removing incongruous loyalties to the laws of the land which have different repugnant philosophies and ideologies.

This topic of Uniform Civil Court once again emerged as a specific discussion of debate in India. Nationwide deliberations, convocations, meetings and agitations were held with regard to the same. Ironically, it was observed that the Hindu Rights which the parties led had strongly opposed the reform of Hindu law in the 1950s. However, the opposition raised to the reforms was generally based on the indication stating that no similar provisions would be applicative for the Muslims on the assertion that they weren’t adequately progressive and advanced.

In mid 1950s, a Bill was passed which significantly had less critical appraisal. The code Bill was divided into 4 major parts by Jawaharlal Nehru, thus including:

  • Hindu Marriage Act.[5]
  • Hindu Succession Act.[6]
  • Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act.[7]
  • Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act.[8]

Accordingly, Indian Christian are governed by the Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872 and their matters related to divorce generally subside under the Indian Divorce Act, 1869, but except in the state of Goa because Goa is the only state in India, which regardless of any religion has a prolific and enforced Uniform Civil Code for all its citizens.

India has framed different civil laws for various communities but the Uniform Civil Code in Goa is an evolving law. The code implies that there should be equal division of income and property irrespective of any gender between wife and husband and also their children. It also states that there should be compulsory registration of every birth, marriages and death. The code has also laid down strict provisions for divorce. It also applies to Muslim marriages stating that “if Muslims have registered their marriages in Goa, then they should not have more than one wife under the Law governing them and also that divorce in them cannot just take place by pronouncing ‘Talaq’ thrice”.

The wheel of Uniform Civil Code in reference to secularism has many spines of controversy revolving around it which ultimately ends up to a conclusion of secularism. Thus, the preamble of our constitution clearly exemplifies that ‘India is a secular democratic republic.’


  1. UCC will help in integrating India and bring in every citizen under one national uniform civil code of conduct by eliminating the animosity caused by preferential treatment by the law of certain religious communities.
  2. UCC will help is eliminating personal loopholes which are embarked in personal laws of the land.
  3. UCC is a positive sign of every progressive nation and thus will help nation to evolve and move forward and become a refined nation.
  4. UCC will help in removing the practice of polygamy and make monogamy imposable under law.
  5. UCC will help in treating all Indians samee., all laws elated to marriage, inheritance, family, etc. will be equal for all Indians.
  6. Non-Muslims can also claim maintenance under section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
  7. UCC will also help in curbing various offences like that of child marriage by fixing the age limit for marriage i.e., 21 years for male and 18 years for females.

Justice Khare in the case of John Vallamattom vs. Union of India[9] said that “It is no subject of question that marriage, succession and other like matters of secular accord cannot be brought within the covenant ennobled under Article 25 and 26 of Indian Constitution because Article 25 bestows right to practice and profess religion whereas Article 44 expropriate religion from social relations and personal laws. “Thus, the substantial impediment in implementing UCC[10] is its procedure of conscribing the same under the acceptable statutory provision of law in this democratic country of ours. Uniform Civil Code should therefore sculpt a balance between ammunitions of Fundamental Rights and sacred dogmas and pious doctrines of individuals and therefore equalize the same.

The Supreme Court in the case of Shabnam Hashmi vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors[11]was of the view that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of children) Act, 2000 is a small step in reaching the goal enshrined by Article 44 of the Constitution. Personal beliefs and faiths, though must be honored, cannot dictate the operation of the provisions of an enabling statute. An optional legislation that does not contain an unavoidable imperative cannot be stultified by principles of personal law which, however, would always continue to govern any person who chooses to so submit himself until such time that the vision of a uniform Civil Code is achieved.[12]

The above stated case laws clearly states the repeated judicial reminders to the implementation of Uniform Civil Code. Also various conspicuous jurist, depicting distinguishable fields, have put forth distinct altercations against the prolusion of a Uniform civil code.


With the changing need of the hour, the necessity for Uniform Civil Code has ascended for all citizens, regardless of religion, assuring that their fundamental and constitutional rights are safeguarded. I personally believe that uniform Civil Code is a must for our country where secularism is given great prestige in resolving outrageous problems of the nation.

Mahatma Gandhi said;

“I do not expect India of my dreams to develop one religion i.e., to be wholly Hindu or wholly Christian or wholly mussalman, but I want it to be wholly tolerant, with its religions working side by side with another.”



[1] Deriving authority from Law

[2] Directive Principles of  State Policy

[3] Uniform Civil Code

[4] Mohammad Ahmad Khan v. Shah Bano Begum, 23rd April, 1985 (1985 SCR (3) 844)

[5] 1955

[6] 1956

[7] 1956

[8] 1956

[9] AIR 2003 SC 2902

[10] Uniform Civil Code

[11] MANU/SC/0119/2014

[12] MANU/SC/0119/2014 – IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA – Writ Petition (Civil) No. 470 of 2005 (Under Article 32 of the Constitution of India) -Decided On: 19.02.2014”

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