The Law Commission of India on Thursday, 30 March, clarified that it would stay away from most laws relating to Muslim marriages and divorces in its draft of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), so as to avoid interference with the Supreme Court.
This decision comes in the wake of the apex court agreeing to listen to pleas pertaining to polygamy, nikkah halala, nikkah mutta, and nikkah misyar.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, the chairman of the commission Balbir Singh Chauhan said that as the matter was sub-judice, the court’s order would be “binding on the commission.”
According to the HT report, while the Hindu personal laws were amended in the 1950s, the Muslim and Christian personal laws remain largely untouched.
Several activists view the commission’s decision to steer clear of Muslim personal laws as a drawback as far as women in the community are concerned. HT quotes senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal as terming the decision a “setback for making personal laws more equitable to women.”
Meanwhile, on 19 March, the commission reportedly asked stakeholders as well as the public to submit their recommendations and suggestions regarding the Uniform Civil Code. According to the HT report, the commission however specified that suggestions related to triple talaq be excluded owing to the pending bill in the Parliament.
The last date to submit suggestions and recommendations to the Law Commission is 6 April.
The Commission has been given time till August 2018 to submit its report on the Uniform Civil Code, reported HT.