The outgoing cabinet of the Gujarat government today forwarded a proposal to establish a commission, following the line of the commission in Uttarakhand, under the direction of a retired Supreme Court judge, to assess all all aspects of the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.
The Minister of Home Affairs of Gujarat, Harsh Sanghavi is scheduled to have a press conference later today in which he will announce the members of the UCC panel.
Council elections are scheduled to be held in Gujarat later this year.
In May, the Uttarakhand government announced its decision to implement UCC in the state. The same month, Himachal Pradesh’s Minister Jairam Thakur also announced that UCC will be brought into the state soon.
The BJP and its leaders who in the past have supported the implementation of UCC in the county will replace individual laws based on the scriptures and customs of different religious communities with a common set of rules governing all citizen.
However, a debate about UCC has raged in several states.
The All India Islamic Personal Law Commission (AIMPLB) called it “an unconstitutional and anti-minority move”, and called the rhetoric about the introduction of the law an attempt by Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the Central Government aim to divert attention away from fears of inflation, the economy and rising unemployment.
Earlier this month, the Center told the Supreme Court that it could not direct Congress to frame or enact any unified Civil Code legislation in the country.
The Ministry of Law and Justice in its affidavit said that the policy issue was decided by the elected representatives of the people and that the Center could not give any direction on this matter.
It added that Article 44 of the Indian Constitution is a guiding principle, which requires states to make efforts to ensure a uniform Civil Code for all citizens.