Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Ayodhya today as the laying of the foundation stone of the much-awaited Ram Temple will take place. The last time PM Modi visited Ayodhya when he was convenor of the Tiranga Yatra, campaign led by Murli Manohar Joshi to scrap Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the Uttar Pradesh government, PM Modi is the first Prime Minister to visit Ram Janmabhoomi, which many believe is the birthplace of Lord Ram. He is also the first Prime Minister to visit Hanuman Garhi, the shrine to Hanuman.
BJP fulfilled two of its main ideological agendas on August 5, the revocation of Article 370 in 2019 and the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya this year.
On August 5, 2019, VHP’s Vinod Bansal said after Article 370 was abrogated, “For the first time, we have a government which is sincere to Indian values, culture, traditions, and national interest. What we have achieved by scrapping Article 370 is historic. We have high hopes that we will now move more positively and in concrete terms on Ram mandir and the Uniform Civil Code.”
This time again clamour has grown for UCC on August 5, 2021.
What is UCC?
The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) calls for the formulation of one law for India, which would apply to all religious communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption. The code comes under Article 44 of the Constitution, which lays down that the state shall endeavour to secure a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens throughout the territory of India.
Origin of UCC:
The origin of the UCC dates back to colonial India when the British government submitted its report in 1835 stressing the need for uniformity in the codification of Indian law relating to crimes, evidence, and contracts, specifically recommending that personal laws of Hindus and Muslims be kept outside such codification. Also, in those days reformers were raising voice to frame laws related to women against the discrimination done by them basically under religious customs like Sati and other social evils.
UCC and Role of Judiciary:
According to Indian Legal, during the post-colonial era in India, the judiciary holds a vital role in the implementation of uniform civil code. Judiciary tried to pave ways by creating an interpretation of varied personal laws of assorted communities and formed them into one common law for all communities.
The efforts of the judiciary are usually well discovered in some cases as under:
Mohamad Ahmed Khan V Shah Bano Begum
In this case, in 1985, Shah Bano moved to Supreme Court for seeking maintenance under section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure when her husband divorced her after 40 years of marriage by giving triple talaq and denied her regular maintenance. The Supreme Court gave a verdict in favour of Shah Bano by applying section 125 of the Indian Criminal Code and it is applied to all citizens irrespective of religion. Then Chief Justice, Y.V Chandrachud, observed that a Common Civil Code would help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law. And so, the court directed Parliament to frame a UCC.
John Vallamattom v. Union of India Case
The Priest from Kerala, John Vallamatton filed a writ petition in the year 1997 stating that Section 118 of the Indian Succession Act was discriminatory against the Christians as it imposes unreasonable restrictions on their donation of property for religious or charitable purpose by will. The bench comprising of Chief Justice of India V.V Khare, Justice S.B Sinha and Justice A.R. Lakshamanan struck down the Section declaring it to be unconstitutional.
Importance of UCC:
The UCC aims to protect vulnerable sections as envisaged by Ambedkar including women and religious minorities, while also promoting nationalistic fervour through unity. When enacted the code will work to simplify laws that are segregated at present based on religious beliefs like the Hindu code bill, Shariat law, and others. The code will simplify the complex laws around marriage ceremonies, inheritance, succession, adoptions making them one for all. The same civil law will then apply to all citizens irrespective of their faith.