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Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Opposes UCC, Calls It A Threat To Legal Pluralism In Its Submission To Law Commission Panel

Swarajya Staff

Jul 11, 2023, 06:07 PM | Updated 06:20 PM IST

Representative Image
Representative Image

In a response submitted by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind to the Law Commission of India, it has stated that the imposition of a mandatory Uniform Civil Code (UCC) would be an attempt to enforce one identity over diverse identities.

The Islamic organisation has argued that such a uniform code would contradict the principles of legal pluralism and hinder inclusivity and tolerance.

The 22nd Law Commission, on June 14, announced that it was examining the issue of UCC and invited public opinions on the matter. The deadline for submitting responses was set for June 15.

In a 14-point response, the muslim body submitted that a strict interpretation of gender equality would place an unfair burden on women. They explained that according to Muslim Personal Law (Shariat), the responsibility for the maintenance of the entire family lies with the husband/father.

However, a code based on a strict interpretation of 'equality' would require the burden of maintenance to be shared equally by the wife/mother, which they argued would be unjust.

According to the response they submitted, in Muslim Personal Law (Shariat), a man pays dower, also known as mahar, during the time of marriage. However, if a strict interpretation of 'equality' is followed, it would mean that women may be forced to give up their dowers or even be compelled to pay dowers to men.

This change in the law of dower would undoubtedly affect the contractual nature of Muslim marriages, they have argued.

Further, the Jamiat argued that the inheritance law of Shariat is based on the principles of equity rather than a strict interpretation of equality.

They argue that Muslim men have been assigned the financial responsibilities of supporting a family, which is why their rights in property have been given 'higher importance' due to their 'greater' financial obligations.

This comes even as the All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), continues to voice its opposition to the UCC citing danger to 'diversity'.

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