|Topic: GS2 – Polity – Indian constitution – Significant provisions
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding the nuances of the proposed UCC and its alignment with Article 44 of the Indian Constitution.
- The debates surrounding the UCC have been multifaceted, particularly concerning the modifications to personal laws.
- Issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and succession have been subject to intense discussion, often entangled with concerns about majoritarian politics.
- Notably, there is apprehension regarding the potential infringement of fundamental rights, particularly when governmental definitions of “morality” are invoked.
- While the proposed legislation acknowledges “live-in relationships” and accommodates certain customs or usages governing such arrangements, it falls short of a fully inclusive rights-based approach.
- By defining these relationships strictly as those between a man and a woman, the legislation excludes individuals irrespective of sexual orientation.
- This exclusionary stance reflects a broader societal reluctance towards recognizing diverse forms of intimate partnerships.
- The proposed UCC draws from legal precedents, such as the recognition of relationships “in the nature of marriage” in case law.
- However, it diverges from progressive judicial rulings, such as those affirming consensual adult relationships and recognizing diverse family structures.
- The legislation’s failure to provide clarity on issues such as next-of-kin status and property rights reflects a reluctance to fully acknowledge the complexities of modern relationships.
- Comparisons with global legislative frameworks, such as civil unions in France, highlight differing approaches to recognizing non-traditional relationships.
- Unlike these models, the Uttarakhand UCC appears to position the state as a stakeholder in intimate relationships, raising concerns about surveillance and intrusion into personal matters.
- Provisions granting authorities the power to investigate and recommend police action raise questions about privacy and individual autonomy.
- The UCC’s provisions for punishment, including imprisonment and fines, coupled with requirements to inform parents or guardians, pose significant threats to individual rights and privacy.
- These measures, particularly concerning adults in live-in relationships, risk perpetuating moral policing and infringing upon the rights of citizens, especially those in interfaith or inter-caste relationships.
- In a diverse and pluralistic society, legislation must uphold the principles of non-discrimination, recognition, and protection for all citizens, regardless of their chosen relationships.
- The Uttarakhand UCC, while attempting to address contemporary challenges, falls short of these ideals by perpetuating exclusionary norms and potentially infringing upon individual rights and privacy.
- As such, there is a pressing need for legislative frameworks that promote inclusivity, respect autonomy, and safeguard individual liberties in India’s evolving social landscape.
|What is Uniform Civil Code?
|PYQ: Discuss the possible factors that inhibit India from enacting for its citizens a uniform civil code as provided for in the Directive Principles of State Policy. (200 words/12.5m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2015)
|Practice Question: Discuss the relevance of the UCC in fostering social cohesion and addressing diversity in India’s pluralistic society. (150 words/15 m)