Uttarakhand UCC: All live-in relationships must be registered

Failing to 'disclose' a live-in relationship within a month carries a penalty of six months imprisonment, a fine of Rs 25,000 or both

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami (right, in saffron waistcoat and hands together in a namaskar) placed the state's new 'uniform civil code' proposal before the state Assembly on 6 February 2024 (photo courtesy @pushkardhami/X)
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami (right, in saffron waistcoat and hands together in a namaskar) placed the state's new 'uniform civil code' proposal before the state Assembly on 6 February 2024 (photo courtesy @pushkardhami/X)
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NH Political Bureau

Uttarakhand's new Uniform Civil Code (UCC) includes among its recommendations some stringent regulations for individuals contemplating a live-in relationship—or residing in one.

According to the new UCC, people in live-in relationships in Uttarakhand must register their status with the district authorities. Failure to disclose a live-in relationship within a month of its commencement may result in imprisonment of up to 6 months or a fine of Rs 25,000, or both. Giving false information on their relationship status attracts the same penalties.

The dissolution of registered live-in relationships necessitates a written statement in a specified format per the UCC, potentially triggering a police inquiry if the registrar suspects misleading or inaccurate reasons are being presented.

Additionally, parents or guardians of individuals under 21 will be notified about their involvement in live-in relationships. Parental consent in considered a necessity as well.

Even a one-month delay in registering a live-in-relationship could result in imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of Rs 10,000, or both.

The new provisions also outline restrictions on relationships against public policy, those involving married partners or minors, and any where consent has been obtained through coercion, fraud or misrepresentation.

To facilitate the registration process, a dedicated website is reportedly under development.

Upon receiving an application, the district registrar will then conduct a "summary inquiry" to verify the provided information, which may involve summoning the involved parties or relevant individuals.

In cases where registration is being denied to the applicants, the registrar must furnish written reasons for the decision. 

On Monday, 5 February, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who spearheaded the bill's introduction, emphasised that the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC) seeks to not only advantage every segment of society but also align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas (together with all, development for all)' and 'Ek Bharat, sreshtha Bharat (one India, the best India)'.

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