"Vague and unclear" UCC "lightning rod for polarisation": Jamaat-e-Islami Hind to Law Commission

One of India's largest Muslim bodies, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind submitted its response to the Law Commission and urged the government not to interfere with the Muslim Laws

Leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind addressing a press conference (photo courtesy: JIH)
Leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind addressing a press conference (photo courtesy: JIH)

NH Political Bureau

The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), one of India's largest Muslim organisations said that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is “vague and unclear”, and it may serve as a “lightning rod for polarisation” if implemented.

“We feel that the meaning and connotation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) are vague and unclear. There are many impending vagrancies that make this task complicated and nearly impossible to provide a fair and comprehensive opinion,” the JIH said in its recommendations sent to the Law Commission on Saturday, July 15.

The Law Commission has announced an extension to the deadline for public responses regarding the UCC until July 28. On June 14, the Commission reopened the debate on UCC by inviting fresh views from the public and concerned parties.

Emphasising that the UCC is ‘undesirable’ JIH, in its response, referred to the recommendations made by the 21st Law Commission on UCC. The 21st Law Commission had opined that the UCC is ‘neither necessary nor desirable’ in the context of the fundamental value of respect for India’s diversity and pluralism.

“Further, the idea of Uniformity contradicts India’s diverse and plural social, cultural, and religious heritage and the Constitutional ethos of Unity in Diversity. Therefore, any manner of enacting the directive principle contained in Article 44 shall be ultra vires of the constitution, if it conflicts with a citizen’s rights under Article 25 or Article 29,” added JIH.

Questioning the timing of the renewed push for the UCC, JIH urged the government not to interfere with the Muslim laws.

“As far as the question of Muslim personal law is concerned, it must be clarified that adherence to Islamic law in matters such as marriage, divorce, succession, and related matters is considered a religious obligation by Muslims and is considered an essential facet of the ‘practice’ of their religion, which is protected by Article 25 of the Constitution,” reads the statement issued by the JIH.

UCC without considering faith-based and customary practices could be detrimental to societal fabric and cohesion, said JIH.

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