DIALOGUE WITH ADVOCATE RAVINDER CHAHER ON UNIFORM CIVIL CODE:

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

UNIFORM CIVIL CODE: NO PERSONAL RELIGIOUS LAW IN INDIA


Article 44 of the Indian Constitution “The state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a

Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.”

Here, I am, Sanya Narang, a student of Chander Prabhu Jain College of Higher Studies and School of Law, Delhi, have been associated with Unique Law for the last two months, and amidst the time, I had observed the main aim of this prestigious firm is to spread knowledge, experience, and point of view of many renowned and resourceful persons.


On this account, I would like to introduce Advocate Ravinder Chaher, one of the resourceful person, working in the field of criminal and civil cases. He had completed his legal studies at Swami Vivekanand Law College, Hapur, in 2018. Not restricting himself from the scope of studies, he also graduated from B. Com. and M. Com as well.

Sir, I welcome you on the behalf of Unique law.

(Interview Questions and his reply are below.)


Q.1) According to you, what are the Uniform Civil code (UCC) and religious personal laws?


Advocate Chaher: “According to me, Uniform Civil Code is a common law, which applies all over the country to all citizens despite their language, religion or caste concerning the laws related to the marriage, divorce, custody of a child, maintenance, adoption, succession, and inheritance. India has been living with the Religious personal law for decades now, religious personal laws are those laws apply on particular religion peoples based on their faith, believes or culture. These laws are based on their custom practices.


If we talk about the history of the Uniform Civil Code, the discussion on this isn't something new. From the pre-independence era, the Britishers tried to bring common laws in India employing reform and local customs. Even in the Constitution of India, Article 44 reflects that the makers of our constitution have been anticipating India, following common civil laws in their near future.

Uniform Civil Code is also the agenda of the current ruling party that is BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) to bring it in force in the country and to make the practice of personal laws void and ineffective; as it’s a modern and scientific way of living and the need for the country towards its development. BJP believes that there will be no gender equality until Uniform Civil Code is not implemented in India.”

Q.2) Do you think our Country needs Uniform Civil Code?

Advocate Chaher, “Yes, I think that India at present needs Uniform Civil Code, it is a demand of the prevailing time. Till when we will be ruled by some religious personal laws, having discriminatory effect?. It does not provide for equal status to genders; Most of the time, courts face difficulty in providing them with justice, and with no doubt, it is indeed favorable for the patriarchal and the upper-class society. When it comes to uniform criminal code, every religious community holds a unanimous opinion to bind with the criminal laws such as IPC, 1860 and Cr.PC because it provides for the punishment relatively not being too extreme as compared to the religious personal laws then why don't these communities hold the same conscience with the Uniform Civil Code.


What I feel is that Religious personal laws do possess loopholes, being complicated, which makes it difficult to correct, and by implementing Uniform Civil Code, it can simplify the process and laws, as well as people, would be getting justice at a faster pace, which in turn be providing equality to the genders and minor communities as well.”


Q.3) It was said by our framers of law that UCC cannot be forced, how do you think it can be applied in our country?


Advocate Chaher, “Sure, Our framers said that Uniform Civil Code cannot be forced, but if we say that we are not ready then we will never be ready, look at Goa, for example, they use Goa civil code, 1867 also known as Goa Family Law, other than this code Goa has to dissolve every other personal law. Sure, it is not applied outside Goa because of territorial law, but whoever is residing in Goa, goes with the laws provided in its code. For example:- if a Muslim couple is married, their marriage will be registered under Goa’s civil law not under the Muslim Personal laws, and thus, the rights will be provided according to laws mentioned in the code, even their divorce decree will be given according to the code.

India needs not to be limited to religious personal laws, to progress and develop like other countries; Uniform Civil Code needs to be implemented mandatorily in India. Even the bench of the Courts feels the same. Our framers added Article 44 in the Constitution so that it can be implemented by the upcoming future government in the country. So according to me, it should be implemented in our country that is India.”


Q.4) Some community believes that UCC violates the freedom to practice any religion, do you think it is true?


Advocate Chaher, “I believe it does not violate upon the freedom to practice any religion. Practicing religion does not revolve around following civil personal law, and there is no problem when it comes to uniform criminal law, then why is there a problem when it comes to uniform civil law. Religion can be propagated irrespective of these laws and, having so many different laws complicates the existing laws thereby, eventually clashing with the right to equality.

Yes, although the implementation of the uniform civil code is difficult, yet not impossible, if it is drafted carefully, keeping the very religious customs in mind. Even B.R. Ambedkar, and also the other members of the constituent assembly, support the idea of the uniform civil code, but at the same time, it was opposed by some of the Muslim fundamentalists somewhat for the same reason. That’s why it was added in the directive principles so that future governments can implement them in near future. And they thought it will be implemented in 10 to 15 years, yet it is debatable.”

Q.5) Opposition said this is a political bill, according to you, is this true or not?

Advocate Chaher, “I don’t know maybe it is, or maybe it is not. Why does it matter? I mean it is good for the country, many countries have uniform laws, and also it proved to be beneficial for them, then why not for us.”

Q.6) Would you like to conclude anything, Sir?

Advocate Chaher, “I believe that the uniform civil code should be implemented in India, as it will ensure equal empowerment of everyone, and it will also simplify the process and the law. The Court can easily provide justice to victims, as personal laws will not come in between because of their being discriminatory in nature. The Court may also give their decrees, as fast as it can. Also, the bench of the courts feels that it’s high time now, and the uniform civil code should be introduced in the country(Delhi high court).

People should understand that implementing a uniform civil code will not take their right to practice any religion. That uniform civil code can never be a hindrance to their belief in religion and its practices that they both work individually.”


I, Sanya Narang, thanking you sir, for answering these questions and for sharing your viewpoint with Unique Law. in.

Thank you.

Signing off.


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