BJP-ruled Uttarakhand has become the first state to pass the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill, a move that could encourage other BJP-ruled states to follow suit. Rajasthan has already said it wants to introduce a UCC bill in the next assembly session.
UCC refers to a common set of laws that are applicable to all Indian citizens, and is not based on religion in dealing with marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, among other personal matters.
“Today is an important day for Uttarakhand. We have passed a bill that people across the country have been demanding for a long time, and Uttarakhand is the first to pass it. I want to thank all the MLAs, and the people of Uttarakhand who gave us a chance to come to power and eventually pass the bill,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami told reporters outside the assembly.
Mr Dhami thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his strong support and encouragement.
The Chief Minister said the bill was not against anyone, but for the benefit of everyone, especially women.
“This bill was not passed against anyone. It will give the right to equality to everyone without any discrimination on matters like marriage, maintenance, inheritance, and divorce… It will mainly remove discrimination against women,” the Chief Minister said.
After the bill was introduced in the house today, the Opposition had demanded that it should be sent to a select committee of the assembly first.
Once the bill gets the Governor’s consent, Uttarakhand will become the first state after Independence to get a common law on marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.
Mr Dhami said the UCC can be amended in future if the need to add a specific clause arises.