The Bold Voice of J&K

UCC in Uttarakhand

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Dear Editor,
Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill has been passed in Uttarakhand Assembly. Said to be first legislation in the country since independence, common laws are framed in relation to marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption. The tribal community has been exempted from the purview of the law. This defies the logic that all are equal in the eyes of law for whatever reasons. The Bill also seeks to the registration of live-in relationship. Registration of live-in relationship legalises all the relationship that a marriage inherits. The Supreme Court has held that a living relationship comes within the ambit of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. With this ruling, the live-in relationship is not illegal. In fact live-in relationship is a western culture, not Indian culture. With the legal sanctity accorded to live-in relationship, in due course of time, the concept of marriage is likely to be either forgotten or totally given up. Live-in relationship is borne out of love only. It would not be surprising if arranged live-in relationship also comes into force on the line of arranged marriage. Import of western culture is burying Indian culture. Since the live-in relationship has been termed as not illegal or unlawful, all the laws applicable in the case of legal weddings apply in the case of live-in relationships also. The Bill defines norms for the grounds of divorce. Divorce not in accordance with the UCC is liable to attract a fine of Rs. 50,000 and imprisonment upto 3 years. Divorce petition by woman is considered if the husband is already having a spouse. Man can also seek divorce if the wife is found to be having relationship with another man. It is good that both men and women are entitled to alimony. But the law of the land is crystal clear that a man is liable to maintain his wife and as such even in the case of divorce, the man is liable to pay the alimony to the divorced wife. If both men and women should be entitled for alimony, the alimony has to be made payable by the person due to whose fault the live-in relationship strains and breaks up. If this aspect is considered, the law that a man is bound to maintain his ex-wife relegates into insignificance. If a widow or widower remarries, they lose the right of inheritance of the assets belonging to the former spouse. It is natural. If the married persons do not need each other, there is no reason for them to inherit the assets of each other. While maintaining that the opposition parties are not against the Bill, Yashpal Arya leader of opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly wants enough time to study the Bill. The UCC must come at the level of centre. One law, one nation must be in place. If the central law on UCC comes into force, the UCC laws in states should be superseded.
K.V. Seetharamaiah

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