Gender equality must, but uniform code not the answer: Catholic Union

August 27, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, August 24, 2017: Maintaining that “gender-equality is a must”, the All India Catholic Union has clarified its stand on the contentious issue of uniform civil code (UCC).

A delegation of the Union recently met Chairman and senior officials of the Law Commission which is “examining” the feasibility of implementation of UCC in the country.

The Union, which claims to be one of Asia’s oldest and officially recognised body of Catholic Laity in India also submitted a response to the questionnaire framed by Law Commission on the issue.

Putting on record its “commitment to a gender-just society”, the Union has also expressed its apprehensions and reservations.

On the issue of having a common civil code in India, the Union citing a Supreme Court judgement has said that “the intended UCC should not be counterproductive to the unity of the Nation”.

It has argued that subsuming issues of marriage, divorce, adoption, guardianship, maintenance, inheritance in one comprehensive UCC would “entail a mammoth exercise” like the Constituent Assembly. “Prime facie the Law Commission seems to be biting off more than it can chew,” the Union’s response reads.

“It seems difficult to evolve one comprehensive code that takes care of the entire range and other contentious issues in an environment aggravated by political, nationalistic, regional and sectarian forces and actors,” the reply states.

Suggesting to “identify specific issues that need urgent redress rather than trying to solve all problems in one fell stroke”, the Union has said that a “dominating majoritarian and politically strident tone cannot and should not be imposed on unwilling sections of the society”.

Stating that “gender equality is a must but the UCC is not the answer”, it has contended that “codification with the assent of the respective stakeholders would be the more practical option”.

On the issue of equal rights in property for Hindu Women, it has opined that “no special tax benefits should accrue to only one religious group and that too to the males in it”.

Underlining immediate need to amend personal laws pertaining marriage, divorce, succession and adoption, the Union has said that “codification of personal laws is desirable and existing codes also need revision”.

But, it has added, “reform of religious laws and practices is the better and lasting option”.

– economic times

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