Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday told the Parliament that the government is committed to bringing a Uniform Civil Code, but it requires wider consultations.

Prasad was replying to an unstarred question from Lok Sabha MP Dushyant Singh, who sought to know whether the government has plans to introduce a bill on the Uniform Civil Code this year. “Article 44 of the Constitution of India states that the state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory,” Prasad said in a written response. “The government is committed to honour this Constitutional mandate. However, this requires wide scale consultations.”

In response to another question, the law minister said the government does not plan to abolish minority status accorded to certain religions under the Uniform Civil Code.

Establishing such a code has been on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda for long. It was also on its manifesto for the 2019 General Elections. In the absence of such a code, various faiths have their own personal laws on matters such as marriage, divorce and succession.

In September 2019, the Supreme Court said that the ruling government had made no attempt to frame a Uniform Civil Code even though the makers of the Constitution had expressed hope for such a law. The top court had noted that Goa was a “shining example” of a state that had uniform civil laws.