Uniform Civil Code Bill tabled in Uttarakhand, India
Chief Minister of Indian state of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, tabled the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) 2024 Bill in the State Assembly, in Dehradun on Tuesday.
The ongoing special four-day session of the assembly began on Monday.
"Vande Mataram and Jai Shri Ram" slogans raised by MLAs inside the State Assembly after Dhami tabled the bill.
Earlier, chief minister Dhami said that it was a moment of pride that Uttarakhand will be the first to move towards implementing the UCC.
CM Dhami posted on X, "With the aim of giving equal rights to the citizens of Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, a Uniform Civil Code bill will be introduced in the Assembly today. It is a moment of pride for all the people of the state that we will be known as the first state in the country to move towards implementing UCC".
The passage of the UCC Bill will mark the fulfilment of a major promise made by the BJP to the people of the state in the run-up to the 2022 Assembly polls.
The Bill contains the laws relating to marriage, divorce, succession, live-in relationships, and related matters.
Among the many proposals, the Uniform Civil Code Bill makes it compulsory for live-in relationships to be registered under the law.
Once the proposed UCC Bill is in place, "live-in relationships" will have to get registered under the law within 1 month from the "date of entering into the relationship". To live in a live-in relationship, adults will have to obtain consent from their parents.
The Bill also imposes a complete ban on child marriage and introduces a uniform process for divorce. The Code provides equal rights to women of all religions in their ancestral property.
As per the UCC Bill, the age for marriage will be 18 for women and 21 for men in all communities. Marriage registration is mandatory in all religions and marriages without registration will be invalid.
No divorce petition will be allowed to be filed for one year of marriage.
Highlighting the ceremonies for marriage, the proposed UCC Bill noted that marriage may be solemnized or contracted between a man and a woman in accordance with the religious beliefs, practices, customary rites and ceremonies including but not limited to "Saptapadi", "Ashirvad", "Nikah", "Holy Union", "Anand Karaj" under the Anand Marriage Act 1909 as well as under, but not limited to, The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937.
However, nothing contained in the proposed UCC Bill will be applied to the members of any Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 read with Article 342 of the Constitution of India and the persons and group of persons whose customary rights are protected under Part XXI of the Constitution of India.
Meanwhile, CM Dhami said that after the UCC Bill is passed, Uttarakhand will become a strong pillar of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of "One India, Best India".