A Cause Celebre on Article 44: An Attempt Towards Unifying Diversity in the Jungle of Personal Laws Prevailing in the Indian Democracy
affiliation not provided to SSRN
December 27, 2008
Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 09-59
INDIA is a multi cultural, multifaceted and multi religious society wherein each community following its own religion is governed by its own set of personal laws. the constitution provides for the establishment of a uniform civil code in matters of civil concern throughout the territory of India. After partition India had come out of a catharsis in the form of partition and at that time it was essential for the country to remain united. Keeping this in view the members of the constituent assembly decided to include the code as a measure to ensure national integrity. Our forefathers being a part of the constituent assembly had long back foreseen the problem and had intended to unify the jungle of personal laws in civil matters on similar lines of codified criminal laws in India. Lawyers, jurists and academicians are all perplexed that even in the 62nd year of Independence uniform civil code has not found its deserved place. The concept of UCC as believed by some is fundamental to the integrity of the nation and imbibing gender equality which is one of the primary objectives for implementing UCC. The advocates of UCC argue that if the Hindus did not have any problems in agreeing to a common code in the form of the Hindu code Bill then what hinders the Muslims. The Muslim members of the assembly strongly opposing the implementation of the code contended that the UCC is a fundamental breach of Article 25 of the constitution that gives every citizen of India the freedom to practice, profess and propagate their own religion. The code is an effort to bring uniformity in matters of marriage, inheritance, succession and divorce, which are presently governed by the communities respective personal laws. The present paper addresses the predicaments that were inherent in the establishment of the code and the roadblocks that did not allow the code even after over 6 decades of independence.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: article 44, constituent assembly debates, shah bano
Date posted: December 29, 2008 ; Last revised: March 19, 2009