Jairam asks govt to inform Parl on action taken on UCC

What have you done on Law Commission recommendations on Uniform Civil Code: Jairam Ramesh

Senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday asked the government to inform Parliament about the action it has taken on the opinion of the Law Commission in a consultation paper on Uniform Civil Code, which said it was "neither necessary nor desirable at this stage".

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour, Ramesh said the 185-page consultation paper by the Law Commission released on August 31, 2018 had concluded that a Uniform Civil Code is "neither necessary nor desirable at this stage". 

He said consultation paper covered topics of marriage and divorce, custody and guardianship, adoption and maintenance and success and inheritance in four chapters and inevitably, the chapter on Marriage and Divorce occupies most of the space in this major report. 

Quoting from the consultation paper, he said, "while diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups, or weaker sections of society must not be dis-privileged in the process. Resolution of this conflict does not mean the abolition of difference." 

"Most countries are now moving towards recognition of difference, and the mere existence of difference does not imply discrimination, but is indicative of a robust democracy," he said.

Ramesh said the Commission has suggested certain measures in marriage and divorce that should be uniformly accepted in the personal laws of all religions, which included marriageable age for boys and girls at 18 years so that they may marry as equals, making adultery a ground of divorce for men and women and to simplify divorce procedure.

Recommendations were also made to abolish polygamy by law. 

"I would like the Minister and the Government to inform the House what action has been taken on the recommendations of the Law Commission, and I would request you to allow some time for a discussion on this very important subject," he said.

The Uniform Civil Code is one of the pet themes of the ruling BJP and has included it in its manifesto. Recently, BJP MP Kirodi Lal Meena had attempted to introduce a private member's bill Rajya Sabha on the issue but strong resistance from Opposition benches had prompted the party to instruct him not to introduce it now. 

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