DMPQ- Discuss the views of Supreme Court of India on Uniform Civil Code and a need for it.

The Supreme Court for the first time directed the parliament to frame a Uniform Civil Code in 1985 in the case of Mohd Ahmed Khan v Shah Bano Begum. In Sarla Mudgal v Union of India 1995, Justice Kuldip Singh reiterated the need for the Parliament to frame a Uniform Civil Code, which would help the cause of national integration by removing contradictions based on ideologies. Therefore, the responsibility entrusted on the State under Article 44 of the Constitution whereby a Uniform Civil Code must be secured has been urged by the Supreme Court repeatedly as a matter of urgency.

Need of a Uniform Civil Code

A uniform civil code is of an absolute necessity for individuals belonging to different religions and denominations and it is imperative for the promotion of national unity and solidarity. Thus, divergent religious ideologies must merge and culminate in to common and unified principles and objectives, adhering to the true spirit of secularism. However, after more than 60 years of independence the aspiration of a Uniform Civil Code remains unrealized.

The idea and principle of having a uniform civil code, governing personal laws is to treat every person equally and also so that just, fair and predictable laws protect everyone. Moreover, a uniform civil code would put in place a set of laws that would govern personal matters of all citizens irrespective of religion, which is the cornerstone of secularism. It would enable to put an end to gender discrimination on religious grounds, strengthen the secular fabric and also promote unity. From Shah Bano to Shayara Bano who recently filed a PIL in the Supreme Court the emphasis has always been on gender friendly reforms of personal laws.

Therefore, given the current political and social scenario, the more progressive and liberal sections are demanding for a uniform civil code, which would govern individuals across all religions, caste and tribe uniformly, and also protect their fundamental and constitutional rights. Whether it would be the endeavor of the state, the mandate of the court or the will of the people is a pertinent issue which only time will enfold.

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