The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) has taken the natioon by storm as some sections of the society are against it. Also, in the past, the matter on UCC was taken up in the apex court that is the Supreme Court. Mentioned hereunder are the instances where the SC has commented the need of UCC.
Mohd. Ahmad Khan Vs Shah Bano Begum & Ors
The first time that the courts urged the adoption of a uniform civil code was when the Supreme Court in Mohd Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum and Others (1985: para 32) exhorted the central government to enact a “common civil code”.
During the Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court held that “It is also a matter of regret that Article 44 of our Constitution has remained a dead letter.” It emphasised that “A common Civil Code will help the cause of National Integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicted ideologies. It is the State which incharged with the duty of securing a uniform civil code for the citizens of the country and, unquestionably, it has the legislative competence to do so. A beginning has to be made if the Constitution is to have any meaning.”
Jordan Diengdeh Vs S S Chopra
In the case (1985), the Supreme Court argued for an “immediate and compulsive need for a uniform civil code”, and observed as follows: “Time has now come for the intervention of the legislature to provide for a uniform code of marriage and divorce as envisaged by Article 44.”
Sarla Mudgal and Others Vs Union of India
Justice Kuldeep Singh, while delivering this judgement in the case (1995) reprimanded the government for failing to make any effort towards Uniform Civil Code. He remarked that: “When more than 80% of the citizens have already been brought under the codified personal law there is no justification whatsoever to keep in abeyance, any more, the introduction of ‘Uniform Civil Code’.”
John Vallamattom and Anr Vs Union Of India
The Supreme Court again affirmed the necessity of framing a Uniform Civil Code in the case in the context of succession laws. The Court reiterated the sentiment of the previous cases: “It is a matter of regret that Art. 44 of the Constitution has not been given effect to. Parliament is still to step in for framing a common civil code in the country. A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing the contradictions based on ideologies.”
Shayara Bano Vs Union of India
In 2017, in the case which is commonly known as the ‘Triple Talaq Case’, the Supreme Court stated: “All this leads to the clear understanding, that the Constitution requires the State to provide for a uniform civil code, to remedy and assuage, the maladies expressed in the submissions advanced by the learned Attorney General.”
Jose Paulo Coutinho Vs Maria Luiza Valentina Pereira
In 2019, a bench of the Supreme Court, comprising of Justice Aniruddha Bose again expressed its disappointment over lack of Uniform Civil Code, saying: “Whereas the founders of the Constitution in Article 44 in Part IV dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy had hoped and expected that the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territories of India, till date no action has been taken in this regard.”