Single civil code: Christian, Hindu ways also under lens

October 14, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, October 14, 2016: The law commission’s exercise to formulate a uniform civil code has reached a critical phase as it has asked the citizens to give their views on ending several religious practices and customs that have been branded anti-women in all the three major religions.

Sending out a list of 16 questions to gauge public opinion and the direction in which it should proceed, the commission is also asking whether to ban or regulate polygamy.

The question may appear aimed at ending the much-criticised practice of a Muslim man being permitted to marry up to four women. But the commission adds another question to it -whether similar practices such as Maitri-Karar be ended as well.

Maitri-Karar, even though banned by law, is still practised sporadically in Gujarat. Through this, a married Hindu man signs a friendship pact on stamp paper with another woman and brings her home to live together.

Justice B S Chauhan, chairman of the law commission, told TOI that formulating the questions was an elaborate affair involving several meetings of the panel itself in addition to consultations with numerous experts in the field.

“It took us two months to frame the questions keeping in mind the prevailing customs and practices in the different religions to elicit meaningful responses from the public,” he said.

“Family law reforms has to view women’s rights as an end in itself rather than a matter of constitutional provisions, religious rights and political debate alone,” he said. The commission has fixed a 45-day time limit for receiving responses from the general public and stake-holders,” Justice Chauhan said.

On triple talaq which, according to Sharia, the Islamic law based on Koran, permits a husband to pronounce `talaq’ three times to instantly divorce his wife, the commission is asking whether it should be abolished altogether, retained only in customs without legal sanctity , or retained with suitable amendments.

The very next question in the list attempts to strike a balance by asking the public as to the steps needed to “ensure that Hindu women are better able to exercise their right to property, which is often bequeathed to sons under customary practices”.

After pointing out these two deficiencies in Muslim and Hindu societies, the commission wanted to know the citizens’ response to the desirability of a two-year waiting period for finalisation of divorce among Christians and whether it affected Christian women’s right to equality.

Under the Hindu law, the wait period is one year in case of divorce by mutual consent of spouses.

– times of india

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One Response to “Single civil code: Christian, Hindu ways also under lens”
  1. Sr. Mabilia says:

    Will the CSF kindly send us the 16 Questions sent out to the general public?
    Only then we and others can give their opinion.

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