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NEW DELHI: Amidst the debate over triple talaq in the country, the Law Commission released a questionnaire on Saturday wherein citizens have been invited to give their opinion on the uniform civil code. The questions cover a broad range of subjects such as marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance among others.
The Law Commission has undertaken this exercise in order to revise and reform family laws under Article 44 of Indian Constitution, which reads as follows – ‘the state shall endeavour to provide for its citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.’
The aim of the survey is to “address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise various cultural pratices”.
The time frame to collect the responses has been fixed to 45 days, and respondents can present their views by post to Law Commission of India, 14th Floor, HT House, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi – 110001, or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the questions drafted by Law Commission are as follows:
What measures should we take to protect couples who enter into inter-religion and inter-caste marriages?
Should the uniform civil code be optional?
Would uniform civil code infringe an individual’s right to freedom of religion?
Should the practice of triple talaq be – abolished in toto, retained the custom, retained with suitable amendments
You can read the full questionnaire here.
Earlier on Saturday, on the issue of triple talaq Union Electronic and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that in a secular nation like India, women cannot be allowed to suffer under such an arbitrary and derogatory system. “India is a secular country. Secularism is a basic structure of the Constitution. Can we, where we have got a secular India, allow the women to suffer a kind of a system which is derogatory and arbitrary,” he said.
Indicating need for wider consultation before taking a call on a uniform civil code, the government had in June asked the Law Commission to examine the issue. Implementation of a common code is part of the BJP’s election manifesto.
The move asking the law panel to examine the issue assumes significance as the Supreme Court had recently said it would prefer a wider debate, in public as well as in court, before taking a decision on the constitutional validity of ‘triple talaq’, which many complain is abused by Muslim men to arbitrarily divorce their wives. However, a section of Muslim leaders have opposed any move to abolish triple talaq and other personal laws.