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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Uttarakhand becomes first state to pass UCC Bill

The Uttarakhand Assembly on Wednesday passed the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by a voice vote, the first such move by any state after Independence that could be replicated by similar legislations in other BJP-ruled states.

After the Bill was passed, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, “The UCC will give the right to equality to everyone without any discrimination on matters like marriage, maintenance, inheritance, divorce etc. There will be no discrimination against women now. This will eradicate the injustice against them.”

With this, he said, the BJP has fulfilled a key manifesto promise it made before the 2022 Assembly elections.

The Bill was introduced in the Assembly on Tuesday, two days after the state Cabinet approved the final draft of the UCC.

Retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, who headed the government-appointed panel, had drafted the 749-page report which contains several recommendations.

The panel collected 2.33 lakh pieces of written feedback online and organised more than 70 public fora to discuss the Bill. The panel members engaged with nearly 60,000 people to help develop the draft.

The UCC Bill recommends complete ban on polygamy and child marriage, a standardised marriageable age for girls across all faiths, and a uniform process for divorce.

These recommendations are aimed at fostering gender equality and social cohesion. However, this law will not apply to tribal communities.

The Bill also mandates the registration of any live-in relationship within the state’s jurisdiction, regardless of whether the man and woman are residents of Uttarakhand.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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