The Uttarakhand State Assembly approved the Uttrakhand Civil Code bill on February 6. Uttarakhand, is the second Indian state and the first after independence to have a common civil code that will provide a legal framework for its citizens through this code.
Uttarakhand’s Common Civil Code aims to establish uniform laws governing marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance, irrespective of an individual’s religious affiliation. This move underscores the government’s commitment to fulfilling key promises made to the people of Uttarakhand and ensuring equitable legal provisions for all citizens.
Some of the key features of the Uttarkhand Civil Code Bill are:
Marriage Age and Requirements:The legal age of marriage is set at 21 for men and 18 for women, and both partners must be mentally fit, and men should not have a living wife at the time of marriage, while women should not have a living husband. Marriages involving direct relatives such as father, mother, grandparents, and grandmothers are prohibited.
Registration of Marriage
All marriages must be legally recognised within sixty days. If anyone provides false information during marriage registration, then the person concerned would be penalised. It may lead to three months’ imprisonment and a a fine of Rs 25,000. If the married couple fail to register the marriage, then a fine of Rs 10,000 will be imposed
Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage: Dissolution of marriage without a court order is prohibited and if such a thing happens then under the Uttarakhnad Civil Code, the offenders will face upto to three years’ imprisonment. Also those marriages conducted outside the UCC’s terms may result in six months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 50,000 will be imposed. Decrees for divorce must be issued within sixty days of filing the plea. Maintenance and alimony are payable to both men and women, with appeals permitted in cases of family court orders issued without consent.
Live-in Relationships: Registration of live-in relationships is mandatory, with those falling under forbidden categories or involving a married partner not permitted. Children from live-in relationships are entitled to legal protections. Notification to the registrar is required upon termination of a live-in arrangement, with responsibility for maintenance falling on the fleeing partner if applicable.
#LiveInRelationships: The newly introduced Uniform Civil Code Bill in the Uttarakhand Assembly makes it compulsory for “live-in relationships” to be registered within a period of 1 month from the “date of entering into the relationship”.
Fail to do so and you maybe sent to jail… pic.twitter.com/bwpJ7kXfan
— Saurav Das (@SauravDassss) February 6, 2024
Property Rights: In the absence of a registered will, equal portions of the property will be allocated to the deceased person’s immediate family. If no immediate family members exist, the property will be equally divided among the deceased person’s first cousins on the paternal side. Equal property rights are granted to sons and daughters, with specific safeguards for the Hindu United Family (HUF). A designated decision-maker appointed by the state government will oversee property division among claimants.
Applicability and Exclusions: The proposed laws under the Uttarakhand Civil Code will apply to all residents of the state, with the exception of Scheduled Tribes listed under Part 21 of the Constitution.
Click here to download the complete Bill of Uttarakhand Civil Code
The introduction of the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code represents a significant milestone in the state’s legal framework, promising equality and justice for all citizens. The move is expected to usher in a new era of harmonious coexistence and legal clarity, setting a precedent for other states to follow.