Uttarakhand government fulfilled its promise of bringing Uniform Civil Code law. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s government introduced the UCC bill in the Assembly. When this law is made, Uttarakhand will be the first state in the country to implement Uniform Civil Code. According to this bill, now there will be a complete ban on second marriage without divorce in Uttarakhand. The rules of marriage, divorce and inheritance will be equal for everyone. Currently, different religions have their own traditions in these matters. Muslims are allowed 4 marriages but this will not happen after the implementation of the Uniform Code. Now the rules of marriage and divorce will be the same for people of all religions and women will have equal rights in the property of their husband or father. Now Muslim women will also be able to adopt children, the rules for adoption will also be the same. The biggest thing is that now in Uttarakhand, live-in relationships have also been given social security like marriage. Live-in couples will have to register. Congress did not oppose this bill to implement Uniform Civil Code but the party sought time to consider this bill in depth.
There has been no change in the minimum age limit for marriage in the bill. In all religions, at the time of marriage the age of the boy should be 21 years and the age of the girl should be 18 years. The rule was the same earlier also but it was not being followed. But now people of every religion living in Uttarakhand will have to follow it strictly. This law will be applicable to any kind of marriage like Saptapadi, Ashirwad, Nikah, Pavitra Bandhan, Anand Vivah Act, Special Marriage Act or Arya Vivah Act. Whatever may be the custom of marriage, its registration will now be mandatory for everyone. No resident of Uttarakhand can divorce under the guise of religion. There is a provision in the bill that no person can file a divorce application for one year after the marriage. Now religious methods of divorce will not be valid, divorce will have to be taken through legal means only. Registration will also be necessary after divorce. The bill outlaws polygamy and remarriage. Strict punishment and fine have been fixed for this. If a person divorces illegally, he will be sentenced to 6 months in jail and will have to pay a fine of Rs 50,000. If someone marries another wife while having one wife, he will have to pay 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
In this bill, rules have also been made for live-in partners. Live-in couples will now be required to register. If live-in partners live together without registration within a month, there can be a fine of Rs 10,000 or imprisonment of 3 months. If a child is born while living in a live-in relationship, it will be considered legal. Both the live-in partners will also be responsible for her care. Apart from this, the child will also have rights in the property of the parents. If the live-in relationship breaks, both the partners will have to inform the registrar. Re-registration will also be necessary. Muslim organizations are opposing this bill. All India Muslim Personal Law Board along with many Maulanas are calling this law against Islamic traditions. Mufti Raees, president of Uttarakhand Imam Organization, said that the draft committee ignored the opinion of Muslims. Mufti Raees said that this law is being brought only to harass the Muslims because if this law is for everyone then why were the Scheduled Tribes kept out of it. Let me remind you that similar things were said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the law against triple talaq. But Muslim women welcomed it, supported Modi while Maulana and Maulvi became silent. Now similar protests are taking place regarding UCC.
However, those who are opposing it are not pointing out the shortcomings in the law. They are raising only two questions. First, this law is against Muslims. Those who are saying this also say that women have already been given equal rights in Islam, the wife is given the right in her husband’s property and the daughter in her father’s property. It is a crime to leave one’s wife without any reason. These things have been said in this law. Then how did it become against Islam? The second and bigger thing is that nowadays the trend of live-in has increased. Due to this, all kinds of problems are arising. We saw many cases like Shraddha Walkar. Live-in registration has now been made mandatory under this law. It is important to inform the parents about this. With such a provision, those who have relationships with girls by hiding their identity or live together without informing the family and later leave the girl, will not be able to do so because it will be legally binding. This will stop atrocities on girls. In this law, neither the meaning of Nikah has changed, nor have the customs changed, nor has divorce been made illegal, nor have the rights of men been reduced. Only the rights of women have been strengthened and made legal. Therefore, I think that calling the Uniform Civil Code against Islam is meaningless and an insult to Islamic teachings. However, I feel that this law should not be passed in a hurry. There should be an open debate on this, everyone should get a chance to express their views. Second, special efforts should be made to make Muslims understand that this law is for their benefit, it will make their lives better, this law is for equal rights and not to target anyone. (Rajat Sharma)
Watch: ‘Aaj Ki Baat with Rajat Sharma’ full episode of February 06, 2024
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