The BJP had proposed a unified civil code for Uttarakhand in its pre-election manifesto, and the people of the state gave it a mandate to implement it by voting it into power, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told NewsMadura today, citing he charges of attempting to polarize the state with the new law.
“We said we would set up a committee for UCC as soon as we come to power. We delivered. An expert committee spoke to 2,35,000 people, various organizations, religious groups and other stakeholders. It has almost finalized a draft. will act upon it as soon as we receive it,” he said.
The committee, set up by the government of Uttarakhand last year, said yesterday that the bill will strengthen the secular fabric of the country.
Former Supreme Court Justice Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, who heads the commission, said marital acts of different religions, common personal laws, Law Commission reports and non-codified issues have all been studied and considered. “The bill is being printed and will be handed over to the government very soon. The bill will strengthen the secular fabric of this country,” Ms Desai said.
The country should have one law for all, stressed Mr Dhami, calling it “the need of the country”. The creators of the Constitution envisioned it, so everyone should welcome it, he said in comments to the news.
On whether Uttarakhand’s civil code could be a model for other BJP-ruled states that may also want to move forward with a unified code, he said he certainly hopes so, but the committee took into account unique geography, religion , culture, law and order, and other issues specific to the state.
“Intellectuals have studied all aspects, it will be good design, and in everyone’s interest,” he said.
Congress, “itself indulging in the politics of appeasement,” should not oppose the code just for the sake of opposing it, Dhami said.
DWU refers to a common set of laws that applies to all citizens of India and is not based on religion when dealing with marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption, among other personal matters.