UCC panel submits report to Uttarakhand CM

NEW DELHI: The Uttarakhand government-appointed committee on Uniform Civil Code (UCC) submitted its report to the state chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday, days ahead of the assembly session in the state.

The draft report suggests compulsory registration of marriages and live-in relationships, banning polygamy, making triple talaq and halala punishable offences and several other similar measures.

The draft was handed over to Dhami by the five-member committee headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai. After receiving the report, Dhami said, “It is yet another step towards the fulfilment of a commitment made to the people of the state during the run-up to the assembly polls held in 2022.”

Dhami later arrived in the national capital and is likely to hold deliberations with top brass of the BJP over the draft report.

Dhami said that after getting a historic mandate of the people for a second consecutive term in office, his cabinet decided to constitute the committee to draft the UCC at its very first meeting to initiate the process of fulfilling that commitment.

The 800-page report recommends keeping tribals out of the UCC ambit.

If implemented, Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country after Independence to adopt the UCC. It has been operational in Goa since the days of Portuguese rule.

A special four-day session of the Uttarakhand assembly has already been convened from February 5-8 to pass legislation on the UCC.

The draft will be discussed in a meeting of the state cabinet before it is tabled in the form of a bill in the assembly.

The panel was constituted in May, 2022, to prepare a draft of the UCC. Constituted for six months initially, it was given four extensions to look into all aspects before finalising its report.

The entire panel had come to the chief minister’s residence to submit the draft. Apart from Ms. Desai who headed the committee, other members of the panel are: Retired Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court Pramod Kohli, social activist Manu Gaur, former Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh and Vice Chancellor of Doon University Surekha Dangwal.

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William Murphy

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