Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India]:Following the passage of the Uniform Civil Code Bill during the special session of the Uttarakhand assembly, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday said that the law will ensure uniformity and equality in the state.
The UCC, which proposes to implement similar laws for all communities, was passed earlier today with a comfortable majority during the special session of the Uttarakhand assembly, followed by a debate.
Meanwhile, the three-day special session of the Uttarakhand assembly was adjourned for an indefinite period, today evening.
"The law will ensure uniformity and equality in the state. There were many doubts regarding this but the two-day discussion in the assembly clarified everything. This law is not against anyone. It is for women who have to face difficulty because of social norms.
This will boost their self-confidence. This law is for the holistic development of women. The bill is passed. We will send it to the president. We will implement it in the state as a law as soon as the President signs it," Dhami told reporters.
The Chief Minister further said that today is a 'special' day for Uttarakhand.
"Today is a special day for Uttarakhand. The bill, which had been long awaited and for which there had been a demand for a long time, has been passed in the Uttarakhand Assembly," CM Dhami said.
The city of Dehradun was, meanwhile, lit up with fireworks by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, after the successful passage of the UCC bill.
Earlier today, while replying to the debate on the UCC bill, the Chief Minister said, "Today, I want to congratulate all the people of the state on this occasion, because today the legislature of our Uttarakhand is going to create history. Being witnesses to this historical moment today, not only this House but every citizen of Uttarakhand is filled with pride. It is a feeling. Our government had promised to bring a uniform civil code to Uttarakhand to realise the mantra of 'One India, a Better India'".
"The godlike people of the state have given us the opportunity to fulfil this objective; he gave his blessings and gave us a chance to form the government again. Immediately after the formation of the government, in the first cabinet meeting itself, an expert committee was constituted to create a uniform civil code. On May 27, 2022, a five-member committee was constituted under the leadership of retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai. This Jan Samvad Yatra, which started in the border village of Mana, ended in New Delhi after about nine months by conducting 43 Jan Samvad programmes," CM Pushkar Singh Dhami said.
"More than 2.32 lakh suggestions were received. About 10 percent of the families in the state gave their suggestions for the formulation of a law. It is a direct proof of the awareness of the godlike people of our state," he added.The Chief Minister further asserted that the 'Ganga' of equal rights emerging from the House will nurture the lives of the citizens.
"Just as the Mother Ganga emerging from this Devbhoomi irrigates all the living beings living on its banks without any discrimination, this Ganga of equal rights emerging from this House will nurture the lives of all our citizens. We will ensure constitutional rights," he said.
CM Dhami stated that the UCC is not an ordinary bill but an 'outstanding' one.
"It is a dream that is going to become reality and will start in Uttarakhand," the Chief Minister said.
"After the independence, the makers of the Constitution gave the right under Article 44 that the states can also introduce the UCC at appropriate time... People have doubts regarding this. We made the draft as per the constitutional system," he added.
The bill contains the laws relating to marriage, divorce, succession, live-in relationships, and related matters. Among the many proposals, the Uniform Civil Code Bill makes it compulsory for live-in relationships to be registered under the law.
Once the proposed UCC Bill is in place, "live-in relationships" will have to get registered under the law within 1 month from the "date of entering into the relationship.
"To live in a live-in relationship, adults will have to obtain consent from their parents. The bill also imposes a complete ban on child marriage and introduces a uniform process for divorce. The Code provides equal rights to women of all religions in their ancestral property.
As per the UCC Bill, the age for marriage will be 18 for women and 21 for men in all communities. Marriage registration is mandatory in all religions and marriages without registration will be invalid.
No divorce petition will be allowed to be filed after one year of marriage. Highlighting the ceremonies for marriage, the proposed UCC Bill noted that marriage may be solemnised or contracted between a man and a woman in accordance with religious beliefs, practices, customary rites and ceremonies including but not limited to "Saptapadt", "Ashirvad", "Nikah", "Holy Union", "Anand Karaj" under the Anand Marriage Act 1909 as well as under, but not limited to, The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937.
However, nothing contained in the proposed UCC Bill will be applied to the members of any Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 read with Article 342 of the Constitution of India and the persons and group of persons whose customary rights are protected under Part XXI of the Constitution of India.