The Uniform civil code has been in the news a few months ago. It has come yet again in the news as the government has announced that schools and colleges can change their uniform laws. The government has again stirred controversy by restarting the debate on the Uniform Civil Code. The news is flooded with this topic.
The Law Commission is being requested to examine the issue and make relevant changes & recommendations. The Shayara Bano case challenged the age-old practices such as Triple talaq, Halala, and polygamy. If you are doing UPSC preparation, it is important for you to acknowledge and understand all the issues related to the uniform civil code. So, let’s go ahead with the information in this article.
A form of oral divorce is practiced in India, where the husband declares his intent to divorce the wife by speaking ‘Talaq’ three times. This is a culture being practiced in Muslims for a long time. The government has declined this form of divorce by law.
The Supreme Court expressed it as the worst form of marriage dissolution. Triple talaq as of today is banned in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is now banned in India as well. It was surrounded by controversy in the beginning but the people have supported it.
Halala is a disputed Islamic marriage strategy practiced, primarily by certain sects of Sunni Muslims. It involves a female divorcee marrying someone else, consummating the marriage, and then getting a divorce in order to make it allowable to remarry her previous husband. This has also been in the talks and news for a long time.
Muslim men are allowed to practice polygyny, that is, they can have more than one wife at the same time, up to a total of four.
The Shayara Bano case (Shayara Bano vs Union of India) demanded the above practices be deemed unconstitutional. This was opposed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). A lot of women remain clueless on which side they must choose. Some practices that have proved to be derogatory to the rights of women still persist.
The BJP has been seemingly unable to instil any confidence in Muslim women in India. Gender justice can’t be achieved through personal laws, especially in the case of Muslim women. The Muslim personal law in India seems to be biased against women and leads to their exploitation.
But, because of the application of personal law in the matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance, and the like, Muslim women are precluded from enjoying the benefits accrued to the through sexual law, which their counterparts from other religious communities enjoy.
The Shah Bano case’s aftermath aptly describes the predicaments surrounding the rights of women under Muslim personal law and a severe lack and urgency of the Uniform Civil Code in India. The Shah Bano case is seen as a blow to the Muslim Personal Law and, under pressure from religious orthodoxy, the government was forced to pass the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986.
The Act specifies that a reasonable amount has to be paid to the divorced wife within the iddat period by her former husband. Had the Supreme Court not been a saviour, where former husbands refused to pay maintenance, thousands of Muslim women would have been divorced and forced to live without any support. It is only courtesy of the Supreme Court that Muslim women are able to enjoy the fruits of Section 125 of the Criminal Penal Code in the same manner that Hindu and Christian women do.
Uniform Civil Code: A Bane or a Boon
A Uniform Civil Code will not take away all the personal entitlements of an Indian Muslim; it will only make those entitlements unenforceable in a court of law. People will retain the liberty to practice the religion of their choice. For instance, a divorced Muslim woman can marry anyone after her divorce, and if her second husband also divorces her, she is free to remarry her first husband.
The law does not limit a woman’s choice – she is free to practice Halala if that is what she wishes. However, if a wife chooses not to do so and still remarries her first husband, he will not be allowed to claim before any court that such the marriage is void because of the non-performance of Halala.
For Muslim women, a Uniform Civil Code will definitely be a boon – it will bring more gender equality to personal laws and expand their rights when it comes to marriage, divorce, inheritance along other personal matters. The Muslim women have supported the uniform civil code largely.
Supreme Court on Uniform Civil Code
According to the Supreme Court of India, the need for a uniform civil code has been asserted in October 2015. The court has said, “This cannot be accepted, otherwise every religion will say it has a right to decide various issues as a matter of its personal law. We don’t agree with this at all. It has to be done through a decree of a court”.
The schools and colleges are said to have no burqas as their uniforms. This has created controversy again and the topic has come yet again in the news. Everyone knows about the topic because it has created a lot of controversies in the past.
Well, many Muslims have come in support of the new policy. You should have complete information related to this topic because it is a significant one in India as it is a secular country and everyone has the right to follow their religion and culture according to the constitution.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to gain information related to the most important topic, uniform civil code. Well, this topic has been in debate for a long time and it has come yet again in the news. The UPSC candidates must be aware of the complete information and details related to this topic because they are not only likely to get this question in their exam but also will have to manage it after becoming an officer. You need to gather knowledge about the topic from its beginning till all the controversial stages.