NEW DELHI: Uttarakhand assembly on Wednesday passed the Uniform Civil Code Uttarakhand 2024 Bill, becoming the first state in the country to give nod to the landmark legislation.
The bill, which will become a law once its cleared by the governor, was a key poll promise of BJP during the 2022 assembly elections.
Speaking in the assembly during the discussion on UCC, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said that the UCC was introduced by his government under constitutional provisions.
“After the independence, the makers of the Constitution gave the right under Article 44 that the states can also introduce the UCC at appropriate time… People have doubts regarding this. We made the draft as per the constitutional system,” he said.
The UCC bill proposes to have a same set of laws governing issues like marriage, divorce and inheritance for all religions.
Among the many proposals, the Uniform Civil Code Bill makes it compulsory for live-in relationships to be registered under the law.
Once the proposed UCC Bill is in place, “live-in relationships” will have to get registered under the law within 1 month from the “date of entering into the relationship”.
Furthermore, if they choose to be in a live-in relationship, adults will have to obtain consent from their parents.
The bill also imposes a complete ban on child marriage and introduces a uniform process for divorce. It provides equal rights to women of all religions in their ancestral property.
As per the UCC Bill, 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 proposed UCC Bill 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.
However, nothing contained in the proposed UCC Bill will be applied to the members of any Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 read with Article 342 of the Constitution of India and the persons and group of persons whose customary rights are protected under Part XXI of the Constitution of India.
(With inputs from ANI)

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