Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Gujarat govt to form committee for implementation of Uniform Civil Code

The Gujarat government has decided to form a committee to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), it said on Saturday.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting which could be the last meeting under the present BJP government as Assembly elections are expected to be announced in the state by the next week.
Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi and Union minister Parshottam Rupala informed the reporters about the decision.
“The committee will be headed by a retired High Court judge and have three to four members. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has been given powers by the cabinet to select members of the committee,” Rupala said. The committee will be formed before the model code of conduct for elections comes into force, he added.
Sanghavi said the decision was taken as per the provisions of Article 44 of Part 4 of the Constitution which expects the state government to apply common law for all citizens.
“This is a historic decision by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Our government has honoured the wish of common people as well as BJP workers to have such a code,” Sanghavi said.
Rupala asserted that the proposed UCC will not violate the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The Hindu Marriage Act and Muslim personal laws will be covered under the UCC as these laws are not part of the Constitution, the Union minister added.
“We do not intend to override the fundamental rights of the people. UCC is about resolving discrepancies which arise in civil disputes, such as wife or daughter’s claim on husband or father’s property. We had received many representations from people about such issues,” said Rupala.
The decision had nothing to do with the coming Assembly polls, he claimed, and dismissed the criticism by the opposition that the ruling BJP was trying to polarize Hindu votes by promising UCC.
The committee will evaluate various aspects related to the UCC and submit its report, based on which the state government will take a final decision about its implementation, Rupala said.
No deadline has been set for the committee to submit its report as of now, he said.
Earlier, BJP governments in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh had announced the implementation of the UCC in their states.

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