Jairam Ramesh urges debate on Uniform Civil Code

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday urged the Chairman of the House M. Venkaiah Naidu to initiate a discussion on the Law Commission’s 2018 report on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

Jairam asked the government to share information on what action has been taken on the Commission’s recommendations.

He pointed out that the Commission said in a consultation paper that UCC was neither necessary nor desirable at this stage.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Ramesh Jairam said the Law Commission, acting on a reference made by the government in 2016, had on August 31, 2018, floated a consultation paper on Reform of Family Law.

“On August 31, 2018 the Law Commission released a 185-page consultation paper, which is called Reform of Family Law. It has four chapters – marriage and divorce, custody and guardianship, adoption and maintenance, succession and inheritance. Inevitably, the chapter on marriage and divorce occupies most of the space in this report,” Jairam said.

He said in the consultation paper the Commission has dealt with laws that are discriminatory “rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage”.

He said the Commission in the consultation paper stated that “While the diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups or weaker sections of society must not be dis-privileged in the process.”

“The Law Commission then went on to say that the way forward may not be a Uniform Civil Code but codification of all personal laws so that prejudices and stereotypes in every one of them will come to law and could be tested on the anvil of fundamental rights,” Jairam said.

He also requested Naidu to allot time to discuss the issue. Responding to him, Naidu said: “We have been discussing this for years together, we need to discuss this further.”

The discussion will hold importance as the uniform civil code has been a key political issue, with the BJP being committed to implement it.



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