Uniform Civil Code Bill Passed in Uttarakhand Assembly – News Deets

In a significant development, the Uttarakhand assembly has passed the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill 2024 through a voice vote. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami hailed this momentous occasion as a historic milestone for the nation.

Congress’ Stance and Opposition’s Viewpoint

The Congress party adopted a nuanced approach toward the bill, expressing neither opposition nor support. Instead, they advocated for sending the bill to the select committee for a comprehensive discussion. Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya highlighted various issues and ambiguities, emphasizing the need for thorough deliberation in the assembly’s select committee. However, amendments proposed by Arya and BSP MLA Shahzad were not entertained by the House.

Chief Minister’s Address and Vision

Chief Minister Dhami, in his address prior to the bill’s passage, underscored the significance of the UCC, portraying it as a pivotal step toward establishing a common legal framework for all citizens. He expressed gratitude for the meaningful discussion held by both ruling and opposition MLAs, emphasizing the importance of unity in diversity.

Dhami elaborated on the extensive consultation process that preceded the formulation of the UCC, involving 43 public consultations and soliciting suggestions from approximately 10% of households in the state, totaling 2.32 lakh individuals. He affirmed the government’s commitment to treating all individuals as equals and rectifying past mistakes associated with appeasement politics.

Key Provisions and Future Outlook

The UCC aims to ensure equal rights for all citizens, particularly focusing on matters such as marriage, maintenance, adoption, succession, and divorce. Dhami highlighted the transformative potential of the bill, particularly in addressing gender inequality and stopping atrocities against women. He emphasized the need to bridge the gap of inequality and promote equality at every level, drawing inspiration from the ideals of Lord Shri Ram and the principles enshrined in the Constitution.

The bill includes provisions for equal rights for women in inheritance, a ban on polygamy, mandatory registration of marriages and divorces, and a common marriageable age of 18 for women and 21 for men. Notably, Scheduled Tribes have been exempted from the UCC’s ambit to safeguard their customs and traditions.

Submission of Draft Report and Conclusion

On Friday, the five-member UCC committee submitted its draft report to Chief Minister Dhami, marking a crucial step toward the bill’s implementation. The UCC, as a common set of laws governing issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and maintenance, represents a significant stride toward harmonizing legal frameworks across diverse communities in Uttarakhand.

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