Uttarakhand Assembly passes Uniform Civil Code Bill

07:43PM Wed 7 Feb, 2024

The Uttarakhand Assembly on Wednesday passed the UCC Bill, becoming the first state to do so after the independence. So far, only Goa had UCC, which was enacted by the Portuguese in 1867. The UCC Bill in Uttarakhand was tabled in the Assembly by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Tuesday. 

Ahead of tabling the bill, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said, "It is a moment of pride for all the people of the state that we will be known as the first state in the country to move towards implementing UCC."

Some of the key features of the UCC are provisions for equal property rights for sons and daughters, elimination of the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children, inclusivity of adopted and biologically born children, and equal property rights after death.

The bill mandates the registration of live-in relationships. Children born of live-in relationships will be considered legitimate, and deserted women will be entitled to maintenance from their partners.

Other major recommendations include a complete ban on polygamy and child marriage, a common marriageable age for girls across all faiths, and enforcing similar grounds and procedures for divorce.

The hill state’s small tribal community is exempt from the proposed law. The passage of the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code Bill marks the fulfillment of a key political agenda by the BJP with just months left for the Lok Sabha elections.