The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Wednesday wrote to the Law Commission on attempts to implement a Uniform Civil Code in the country, saying that “majoritarian morality” must not supersede religious freedom and rights of minority communities.

A Uniform Civil Code involves a common set of laws governing marriage, divorce, succession and adoption for all Indians. Currently, different religious communities are governed by their own codes of personal law.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has claimed that the aim of such uniformity is to ensure equality and justice for women in particular, who are often denied their rights in marriage, divorce and inheritance under patriarchal personal laws.

On June 14, the Law Commission sought views on the matter from citizens and religious groups. Less than two weeks later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India needed a common civil code as the country could not run with the dual system of “separate laws for separate communities”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board demanded that tribals and religious minorities be kept out of the purview of such a statute.

“Mere projection of uniformity is not a valid ground for uprooting the established systems of laws governing personal matters of different religious communities when even the established general and supposedly uniform laws are not entirely uniform in nature,” the statement said.

The Muslim organisation noted that the 21st Law Commission had concluded that a Uniform Civil Code was neither necessary nor desirable. Within a short span, it is surprising to see the 22nd Law Commission again seeking public opinion “without there being any blueprint as to what the commission intends to do”, the statement said.

Even as matter is purely legal, it has been fodder for politics and media-driven propaganda, the organisation said.

“Personal relationships of Muslims, guided by their personal laws, are directly derived from the holy Quran and Islamic laws and this aspect is linked with their identity,” the statement continued. “Muslims in India will not be agreeable to lose this identity of which there is space within the constitutional framework of our country.”

Islamic organisation Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind has also opposed the proposal saying it is against the right to religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

On Wednesday, the BJP’s southern ally, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, too reiterated its opposition to a Uniform Civil Code. “The AIADMK will urge the government to not bring any amendments to the Constitution that will adversely affect the religious rights of minorities in India,” party chief K Palaniswami told reporters.

Also read:

  1. UCC is core ideology for the BJP – but can it ever be implemented?
  2. Why the Uniform Civil Code has few takers in the North East