BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi suggests exemption of tribals from Uniform Civil Codetext_fields
New Delhi: As the Central government proceeds with its proposed plan to implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country, BJP MP and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Sushil Kumar Modi, has raised concerns over its applicability to tribals, who enjoy constitutional protection for their customs, traditions, and rituals.
He also advocated for the exclusion of tribals from any potential Uniform Civil Code (UCC), highlighting the existence of exceptions in all laws.
A meeting of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice was held to hear the views of the Department of Legal Affairs, the Legislative Department, and the Law Commission of India on the UCC. Opposition MPs, including those from Congress and DMK, voiced their reservations, emphasizing concerns about the legislative powers of states.
DMK MP P Wilson, in a note posted on Twitter, argued that implementing a UCC would erode the diversity of the nation. He highlighted that matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and property rights fall under the Concurrent List of the Constitution, allowing both the central and state governments to legislate on these subjects. Wilson also pointed out that Article 44 of the Constitution suggests that states may not have the power to amend a Uniform Civil Code applicable to all citizens throughout India.
Congress MP Vivek Tankha, echoing the views of the 21st Law Commission's 2018 consultation paper on 'Reform of Family Law,' called for preserving the diversity of personal laws while ensuring they do not contradict fundamental rights. Tankha concurred with the Commission's stance that addressing discriminatory laws should take precedence over implementing a UCC, which could conflict with constitutional provisions and specific provisions for states, including those in the Northeast.
During the meeting, officials from the Department of Legal Affairs, the Legislative Department, and the Law Commission of India revealed that they had received 19 lakh suggestions regarding the UCC so far. The attendees included members from various political parties such as the BJP, Congress, BSP, Shiv Sena, and DMK.
While the BSP supports the idea of a UCC, it emphasizes the need for the government to involve all communities, including Muslims and tribals, and avoid hasty implementation. The Shiv Sena also supports a UCC, but the faction under Uddhav Thackeray has cautioned against introducing it with elections in mind.