Jamaat-E-islami-Hind writes letter to Law Commission, saying imposition of UCC undesirable and threat to cohesion of society

July 16, 2023

New Delhi, 16th July 2023: Jamaat-E-Islami-Hind (JIH), in a letter to the Law Commission of India, has cautioned that any imposition of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) to the exclusion of faith-based and customary practices in a multi-religious and multicultural country like India would not only be undesirable but also pose a threat to the very fabric and cohesion of society. Expressing concerns that the UCC has the potential to become the lightning rod for Polarisation, the JIH said that the timing and nature of consultation raised further apprehension on the intent behind the entire exercise.

The JIH, ‘as one of the largest Muslim organisations in India’ appealed to the Law Commission to uphold its previous stance and recommended to the Government of India that it should abstain from any misguided attempt to interfere with the personal laws as it could potentially harm India’s cherished ‘Unity in Diversity’. The JIH has submitted its view to the Law Commission, in response to the public notice dated June 14, 2023, soliciting public opinion on the concept of the UCC. The organisation said, “the most recent consultation is bewildering, to say the least, especially in light of the fact that the 21st Law Commission completed a similar task between 2016 and 2018 and recommended in its consultation paper that UCC was neither necessary nor desirable in the context of the fundamental value of respect for India’s diversity and pluralism.”

Terming the meaning and connotation of the UCC as vague and unclear, the JIH said, “there are many impending vagrancies that make the task complicated and nearly impossible to provide a fair and comprehensive opinion.”

Pointing out that the idea of Uniformity contradicts India’s diverse and plural social, cultural, and religious heritage, as well as the Constitutional ethos of ‘Unity in Diversity, the JIH said, “Therefore, any manner of enacting the directive principle contained in Article 44 shall be ultra vires of the constitution, if it conflicts with a citizen’s rights under Article 25 or Article 29. As far as the question of Muslim personal law is concerned, it must be clarified that adherence to Islamic law in matters such as marriage, divorce, succession, and related matters is considered a religious obligation by Muslims, and is considered an essential facet of the ‘practice’ of their religion, which is protected by Article 25 of the Constitution.”

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