The Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami-led Uttarakhand government is set to table the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill in the state Assembly today (5 February).
This comes after the Dhami Cabinet on Sunday (4 February) approved the UCC draft submitted by panel led by retired SC Justice Ranjana Desai.
With the ruling BJP having 47 seats in the 70-member Uttarakhand Legislative assembly, the UCC bill is set for a smooth passage.
The legislation will then be sent to the Governor, the state's constitutional head. Once approved by the Governor, it will become a law.
Once implemented, Uttarakhand will become the first state after Independence to adopt the UCC. It has been operational in Goa since the days of Portuguese rule.
The Uttarakhand UCC draft focuses on women's equality and bats for prohibiting polygamy. It aims to standardise the marriage age across religions and make certain religious personal law practices punishable.
The UCC draft proposes making halala, iddat, and triple talaq – practices governing marriage and divorce under the Muslim personal law – punishable offences.
It also proposes making the legal age for marriage, for both men and women, uniform across religions. Further, the draft recommends exempting tribal communities from the purview of the bill.
The UCC was one of the major poll promises of the BJP in the run-up to the state Assembly elections in February 2022. The committee was announced after the first Cabinet meeting of the newly-formed Uttarakhand government.
The panel received over 2.3 lakh suggestions from the public, most of which were received through letters, registered posts, emails, and written suggestions through its online portal.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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