The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Thursday debunked a questionnaire that was circulated by the Law Commission to seek public opinion on the uniform civil code. The decision was made on the grounds that the Centre is trying to impose a “single ideology” in India. The apex Muslim body alleged such a code will nullify Islamic law and hamper the country’s multiplicity of cultures. On October 7, the Law Commission had released a list of 16 questions, seeking public opinion on various religious practices.
Board member Hazrat Maulana Wali Rahmani said that all Muslims will boycott the questionnaire. He said, “A uniform civil code is not good for this nation. There're so many cultures in this nation, [they] have to be respected. [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi has triggered an internal war in this country.” Rahmani’s comments come almost a week after the Centre opposed the practice of triple talaq. It had told the Supreme Court that the “validity of triple talaq and polygamy should be seen in lights of gender justice.”
The government had also said triple talaq, polygamy and nikaah halal were not essential religious practices and that they deny women their constitutional rights. The Muslim board also argued that the Constitution guaranteed them the right to their religion. “We are living in this country with an agreement held by the Constitution. The Constitution has made us live and practice our religion. We won’t accept the UCC at any cost,” said Rahmani.
Chairperson of the Law Commission Justice BS Chauhan told the Times of India that their questionnaire was framed “keeping in mind the prevailing customs and practices in different religions.” On Thursday, Chauhan refused to comment on the AIMPLB's remarks, and said it did not want to "impose majority views on minorities". He added that the questionnaire was for people of all religions.
In the past, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had faced criticism from activists for saying that while it was the "least appreciated" means of divorce, triple talaq was permitted under the Shariat, or Muslim personal law. In an affidavit submitted before the top court, the board had also said that the Supreme Court did not have the right to decide on the validity of the triple talaq practice, and that "personal laws cannot be re-written in the name of social reforms".
The AIMPLB said it will start a nation-wide signature campaign against the Centre's affidavit on triple talaq on Friday, PTI reported.