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Business News/ News / India/  From punishing unlisted live-in relationships to banning bigamy — 5 Key takeaways from Uttarakhand UCC Bill
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From punishing unlisted live-in relationships to banning bigamy — 5 Key takeaways from Uttarakhand UCC Bill

The Uttarakhand government is pursuing the Uniform Civil Code bill, which proposes uniform marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws for all citizens irrespective of their religion.

Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami addresses the handing over of the UCC draft report during a programme organised at Mukhya Sevak Sadan, in Dehradun on Friday (ANI)Premium
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami addresses the handing over of the UCC draft report during a programme organised at Mukhya Sevak Sadan, in Dehradun on Friday (ANI)

The Uttarakhand government is currently perusing the Uniform Civil Code bill amid heavy criticism in the Opposition ranks. The document was tabled in the state assembly on Tuesday and proposes uniform marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance laws for all citizens irrespective of their religion. Several BJP ruled states in the country — including Gujarat and Assam — have expressed their keenness to follow the Uttarakhand UCC as a model.

The common civil code will become law once it is passed by the BJP-majority House and gets the Governor’s consent. The bill applies to the whole of Uttarakhand and also to people from the state who live outside.

Here are 5 key takeaways from the UCC Bill:

 

  • Exemption for tribals

Uttarakhand's tribal population has been exempted from the provisions.

“Nothing contained in this code shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribes.... and the persons and group of persons whose customary rights are protected under the Part XXI of the Constitution of India," the bill says.

  • Regulation of live-in relationships 

Live-in partners in Uttarakhand will have to register themselves with district officials or face imprisonment under the state's Uniform Civil Code. Children born of such relation will be considered legitimate and deserted women partner entitled to maintenance their partners.

The bill stipulates a penalty of up to a month in prison or a fine of 10,000, or both, if the partners do not submit a statement on their relationship to the registrar within a month. A higher fine apart from an imprisonment of up to three months can be imposed on any person who provides false information in his or her statement on a live-in relationship to the Registrar.

  • Ban on bigamy and polygamy

The UCC bill permits marriages only if "neither party has a spouse living at the time" — effectively prohibiting bigamy or polygamy. The conditions for solemnising a marriage also take "public policy and morality" into account and retains the ‘degrees for prohibited relationship’ exception. 

  • Age restrictions for live-in relationships and marriage

The marriageable age for all men and women has been set at 21 and 18 respectively. Partners must be 18 or older in order to have a live-in relationship. The registrar is bound to inform their parents or guardians if either partner is under the age of 21.

  • Equal inheritance rights

Both men and women will enjoy equal inheritance rights under the new Bill.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 06 Feb 2024, 05:33 PM IST
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