A Bill introducing a Uniform Civil Code may be tabled during a session of the Uttarakhand Assembly that will begin on February 5, state minister Prem Chand Aggarwal said on Friday, The Hindu reported.

The session will be held from February 5 to February 8, the state finance minister said.

A Uniform Civil Code involves having a common set of laws governing marriage, divorce, succession and adoption for all Indians, instead of allowing different personal laws for people of different faiths.

The aim of such uniformity is to ensure equality and justice for women who are often denied rights under patriarchal personal laws, the Bharatiya Janata Party claims.

Currently, different religious and tribal communities have their own laws that govern their personal affairs, including marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance.

Aggarwal on Friday told The Hindu that two important Bills are expected to be tabled during the session that will begin on February 5. “One is the 10% horizontal reservation for Statehood agitators and their dependents,” he said. “The government might also table the UCC Bill if the committee will submit its final report before or during the session.”

The minister was referring to a committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai that was formed in May 2022 to examine ways to implement a Uniform Civil Code. The committee is expected to submit its report on February 2 or February 3, reported The Indian Express.

The introduction of a common personal law has for long been on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda and several states ruled by the party have been making advances towards implementing it.

In its campaign for a uniform civil code, the BJP has mainly targeted Muslim personal law, arguing that it discriminates against women as it allows Muslim men to have more than one wife, get a greater share in inherited property, initiate divorce, and deny alimony.

The matter gained impetus after the Law Commission in June last year sought views from the public and religious groups. A couple of weeks later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made a pitch for a Uniform Civil Code in the country.

However, several tribal-majority states in the North East have sounded an alarm in connection with the proposal, saying it would amount to an infringement on the tribal way of life.

Also read: Why Muslim women are divided on the question of a uniform civil code