Uttarakhand is the first state after Goa to implement Uniform Civil Code. BJP had assured to implement UCC in the Uttarakhand assembly elections in May 2022. After securing majority in the elections and forming the government, Chief Minister Dhami started work towards UCC in May 2022, w hich was presented in the House on Tuesday and discussion started. After almost two days of discussion, the bill is likely to be voted on and passed by the House on Wednesday, February 7. It is said that after UCC is implemented in Uttarakhand, it will be implemented in Assam, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and other states. The UCC law implemented in Uttarakhand can be a model for other states.
The draft of Uttarakhand’s Uniform Citizenship Bill is of 780 pages. In this, suggestions have been collected from about 2 lakh 33 thousand people. The five-member panel headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai has prepared this bill after a total of 72 meetings. This bill has 4 parts except the preliminary part. The first and second parts have 7 chapters each. The total number of schedules in this bill is also seven. There are a total of 392 sections in all the chapters.
According to the copy of the UCC bill distributed in the House, this bill focuses on women’s rights. This bill will be considered applicable to all religions and sects. There is a provision to ban polygamy. There is a provision to increase the marriage age of girls from 18 years. But a provision has been made to keep 4% tribes of Uttarakhand out of this new legal draft. Population control measures and Scheduled Tribes have not been included in the draft. Religious practices have not been tampered with in the draft, but evil practices and evil practices have been curbed.
The Uniform Civil Code Bill has made registration mandatory for live-in relationships. Legal experts claim that registration of such relationships will benefit both men and women. In the bill, girls have been given equal inheritance rights as boys.
People of all religions will be able to marry in their own ways as before, but a proposal has been made in the bill to make marriage registration mandatory. The bill also states that families who do not register their marriage will not get government facilities.
In Bill K, a proposal has been made to ease the process of child adoption, along with this, a proposal has been made to give Muslim women the right to adopt a child.
A proposal to ban Halala and Iddat within the Muslim community has been placed in the bill. There has been a lot of opposition to this practice.
The bill states that if a wife remarries after her husband’s death, the parents of the deceased husband will also get a share in any compensation. In case of wife’s death, the responsibility of supporting her parents will be on the husband. The proposal to give custody of children to grandparents until there is a dispute between husband and wife and no solution is found has also been placed in the UCC Bill.
What does UCC Bill say on live-in relationships?
The BJP’s Dhami government, which has a majority with 47 MLAs out of 70 seats in the state of Uttarakhand, is moving forward strongly on the Uniform Civil Code Bill. There is no doubt about the bill being passed and becoming a law. Retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai played an important role in preparing this bill. The Dhami government had constituted a panel under his chairmanship. Which presented a draft last week, which was approved by the state cabinet and on Tuesday 6 February 2024 the bill was presented in the Assembly for discussion. There are many important provisions in this bill, one of them is live-in relationship.
According to this bill, all the men and women living in live-in relationship in the state of Uttarakhand will have to get their relationship registered. Even if the man or woman of Uttarakhand is in some other state and is living there in a live-in relationship, it will still be mandatory for them to register their statement in the Registrar office of Uttarakhand state.
Apart from this, even if non-resident men and women living in Uttarakhand are in live-in, they will have to register their live-in status with the Registrar of Uttarakhand State. Along with this provision, it has also been said that the children of such live-in couples will get the status of legitimate children. If any live-in couple hides information from the government, then there is a provision of imprisonment of up to six months for such couples.
The UCC Bill of Uttarakhand also provides that the Registrar of the State of Uttarakhand will register a live-in relationship only if at least one of the live-in partners is not married or in any other live-in relationship. . Neither of the partners in a live-in couple should be a minor and consent to the live-in relationship should not have been obtained through force, pressure, undue influence, misrepresentation or fraud.
This bill also provides that if one of the partners of a live-in couple is below 21 years of age, the Registrar will have to inform their parents before registering the live-in relationship and their Consent must be obtained.
From the day this bill becomes law, it will be mandatory for live-in couples to get their live-in registration done within a month. If the couple has not got the registration done within a month after starting live-in, then they will have to go to the Judicial Magistrate. Can be produced before the IPC and the court can punish such couples with a minimum jail term of three and maximum six months or a fine of Rs 25,000.