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Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code becomes law after President Droupadi Murmu’s approval


President Droupadi Murmu.
Image Source : PTI President Droupadi Murmu.

President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday signed Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill into law. This came after more than a month when the bill was passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly on February 7. The bill was presented by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami with an aim to establish uniform marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws for all citizens irrespective of their religion.

Key highlights of the law:

The Uniform Civil Cide contains the laws relating to marriage, divorce, succession, live-in relationships, and related matters. The Uniform Civil Code law makes it compulsory for live-in relationships to be registered under the law. 

The law also imposes a complete ban on child marriage and introduces a uniform process for divorce. The Code provides equal rights to women of all religions in their ancestral property. As per the UCC law, the age for marriage will be 18 for women and 21 for men in all communities. Marriage registration is mandatory in all religions and marriages without registration will be invalid. No divorce petition will be allowed to be filed after one year of marriage. 

Highlighting the ceremonies for marriage, the UCC law noted that marriage may be solemnised or contracted between a man and a woman in accordance with religious beliefs, practices, customary rites and ceremonies, including but not limited to “Saptapadt”, “Ashirvad”, “Nikah”, “Holy Union,” and “Anand Karaj” under the Anand Marriage Act 1909, as well as under, but not limited to, The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937.

9-member committee prepared the UCC draft

A nine-member committee headed by a former chief secretary was set up to prepare a draft of rules relating to procedures, designation of competent level authorities for easy implementation of the provisions of the UCC law. Uttarakhand is the first state in India to enact the uniform civil code law which also covers live-in relationships.  Chief Minister Dhami has emphasized the significance of the Uniform Civil Code, stating that it would ensure equality for all individuals without any bias in matters such as marriage, maintenance, inheritance, and divorce.

ALSO READ: Police will not harass live-in couples under UCC law: Uttarakhand CM Dhami to Rajat Sharma in ‘Aap Ki Adalat’


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