UCC final draft gets Uttarakhand Cabinet approval

The implementation of the UCC will provide a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens across all faiths in the state

If enacted, Uttarakhand will be the first state post-Independence to implement the Uniform Civil Code (photo: National Herald archives)
If enacted, Uttarakhand will be the first state post-Independence to implement the Uniform Civil Code (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

The Uttarakhand cabinet has approved the final draft of the Uniform Civil Code, paving the way for its tabling in the state Assembly during a special four-day session that begins on Monday, 5 February.

"Today in the Cabinet meeting, we passed the proposal to bring the legislation on the Uniform Civil Code in the upcoming Assembly session," Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said after chairing the meeting at his official residence on Sunday.

The session of the Assembly has been convened especially to pass the legislation on the UCC and make it an Act. The cabinet approval of the draft was needed for its introduction in the Assembly.

If UCC is implemented, Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country after Independence to adopt it. A UCC has been operational in Goa since the days of the Portuguese rule.

The final draft of the UCC, running into 740 pages in four volumes, was submitted to Chief Minister Dhami recently by a five-member panel headed by retired judge of the Supreme Court Ranjana Prakash Desai.

Security has been stepped up around the Assembly premises for the special session which will go on till February 8.

"Uttarakhand Assembly's special session has been called. As in the past, we have placed barricades at entry points around the Assembly to stop any protests... More than 200 constables and 100 inspectors have been placed in the periphery of the Assembly.

"We have also deployed mobile patrol parties at sensitive locations in the city,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Dehradun, Ajai Singh said.

The BJP's landslide victory for a second consecutive term in power in Uttarakhand in 2022 has been attributed on many occasions by the chief minister to the pre-poll promise of a UCC.

After becoming chief minister for a second consecutive term, Dhami accorded top priority to fulfilling his pre-poll commitment, announcing the constitution of a committee to prepare the draft of the UCC at the first meeting of the state cabinet after assuming office.

The Committee formed in May 2022 took nearly two years and four extensions to prepare the draft and submit it to the chief minister on Friday.

The implementation of the UCC will provide a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens across all faiths in the state.

The panel received 2.33 lakh written suggestions online and held more than 70 meetings in which the members interacted with around 60,000 people in the course of preparing the draft.

On the day the final draft was submitted to the chief minister, he expressed hope that many states would follow the example of Uttarakhand and use the template provided by the state to implement the UCC.

There has been much debate on the issue of UCC, with political parties and religious organisations divided on the issue.

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 9:53 AM
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