The Congress-led government has again refused to press for a ‘Uniform Civil Code’ — a body of laws relating to items like marriage, inheritance etc. that apply to everyone in India irrespective of their religion, language etc..
Currently, such items are broadly dependent on which community or religion one belongs to, with separate laws for Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Parsis etc.. While the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party wants to abolish religion-based laws and introduce uniform laws for all citizens, Congress Party has been traditionally opposed to the idea.
Law minister Veerappa Moily said he considered similar laws for all citizens unjust to smaller communities.
“Bringing in a Uniform Civil Code involves changes in the Personal Laws including those of the minority communities. Therefore, it has been the consistent policy of the Central Government not to interfere in the Personal Laws of the minority communities unless the necessary initiatives for such changes come from a sizeable cross-section of such communities themselves,” Moily told the Parliament on Friday.
The differences in laws have been blamed for creating division in the Indian society and leading to oppression and exploitation of women in certain communities where women’s rights are traditionally weak.