Critically examine whether the Uniform Civil Code Bill recently passed by the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly could serve as a model for national implementation of the UCC in India.


The Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly has passed the Uniform Civil Code Bill (U-UCC) recently and if ratified by the President will become the law in the state.


  • Introduce your answer with Article 44 and the concept of the Uniform Civil Code.
  • In the main body, summarize key provisions of the U-UCC. Next discuss the potential of U-UCC as a national model, weighing its benefits in promoting a uniform legal framework and gender justice against the challenges posed by India’s cultural diversity, privacy concerns, and exclusions.
  • Conclude by recognizing the need for a nuanced approach that respects India’s diverse societal fabric.


Article 44, under the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) in the Indian Constitution, calls for the state to establish a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for its citizens. The UCC aims to unify personal laws concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption across all religions, ensuring equality and justice for all citizens.

Key Provisions of Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code Bill (U-UCC):

  • Mandatory Registration of Marriages: aims to formalize marriages and ensure legal recognition, which aids in the protection of marital rights.
  • Abolition of Triple Talaq, Halala, and Polygamy: Marks a significant step towards gender equality, aligning with the Supreme Court’s stance against such practices.
  • Mandatory Registration for Live-In Relationships: aiming to protect the rights of those in non-traditional relationships. Grants right to maintenance for women deserted by their partners.
  • Inclusivity of Children: Recognizes all children, including those born out of wedlock, adopted, or through surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology, as biological, ensuring equal rights.
  • Equal Inheritance Rights: Promotes gender equality by ensuring equal rights for sons and daughters, addressing long-standing disparities.
  • Simplified Divorce Procedures: Standardizes the process for divorce and eliminates the waiting period for remarriage post-divorce. Moreover, custody for children under five is given to the mother, prioritizing the child’s welfare.
  • Custom and Usage as Exception: Recognizes the importance of cultural diversity but with a caution against practices that are against public policy or morality.

Prospects of U-UCC Serving as a Model for National Implementation of UCC:


  • Uniform Legal Framework: U-UCC’s comprehensive approach to marriage, divorce, and inheritance could serve as a robust framework for a national UCC.
  • Gender Equality: By abolishing practices like triple talaq, polygamy, and ensuring equal rights in inheritance, U-UCC sets a precedent for gender justice that aligns with the constitutional mandate of equality.
  • Protective Measures for Vulnerable Groups: Recognizing and providing rights to partners in live-in relationships and their children could modernize Indian legal systems to reflect societal changes.
  • Simplification of Laws: Consolidation of various personal laws into a single code could simplify the legal process, making it more accessible and understandable to the general public.
  • Promotion of Secularism: Implementing a uniform code that applies to all citizens regardless of religion promotes the secular values enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: The code’s approach to custom and usage allows for the accommodation of diversity within a unified legal framework.


  • Cultural and Religious Diversity: India’s vast diversity might be oversimplified by a one-size-fits-all approach, potentially risks overlooking the diverse legal needs of India’s pluralistic society.
  • Privacy Concerns: Mandatory registration of relationships, including live-in partnerships, could infringe on personal liberties and privacy, leading to state intrusion into private lives.
    • The Domestic Violence Act already provides relief for live-in relationships, making registration unnecessary.
  • Exclusion of Tribal and LGBTQIA+ Communities: The exclusion of Scheduled Tribes and lack of provisions for the LGBTQIA+ community highlight the U-UCC’s limitations in addressing the rights of all citizens.
  • Concerns around Criminalisation: Uttarakhand UCC Bill relies on criminalisation for enforcement, which is likely to disproportionately impact minority communities.
  • Potential for Social Hostility: Public access to marriage and divorce records could exacerbate social tensions, leading to moral policing and honour crimes.
  • Ambiguity and Enforcement Issues: The practical implementation of these laws could face hurdles due to vague definitions and resistance from various communities.

A careful, consultative, and inclusive approach is essential to implement a Uniform Civil Code at the national level, ensuring that the pursuit of uniformity does not compromise the principles of justice, equality, and individual rights.

‘+1’ Value Addition:

  • The 2Ist Law Commission underlined that rather than enacting a UCC, family laws of every religion must be reformed to make them gender-just.
  • The Supreme Court in Shah Bano Case (1985) observed that “it is a matter of regret that Article 44 has remained a dead letter” and called for its implementation.
  • In Jose Paulo Coutinho Case, 2019 the SC hailed Goa as a shining example and accordingly urged for its Pan-India implementation.
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