Uttarakhand government plans to hold a special session of the state assembly soon to table the Uniform Civil Code draft, sources said. The draft was prepared earlier this year by a committee set up by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. The committee worked with a cross-section of citizens and spoke to more than 2 lakh people and key stakeholders.
UCC refers to a common set of laws that are applicable to all the citizens of India and is not based on religion in dealing with marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, among other personal matters.
In the draft bill that Uttarakhand will present in the assembly, the government seeks a complete ban on polygamy, sources said. There is a also a provision for live-in couples to register their relationship.
Sources also said that the bill, if cleared, will instate equal inheritance rights for both the son and daughter.
A UCC for Uttarakhand was one of the major poll promises made by the BJP in the run-up to the state assembly elections held last year. After being voted to power for a second consecutive term, Mr Dhami gave his nod to setting up a committee headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Ranjana Prakash Desai to draft the UCC at the very first cabinet meeting headed by him.
The expert panel whose tenure was extended for a third-time recently till December has taken opinions from 2.33 lakh people and different organisations, institutions and tribal groups before preparing the draft. The five-member committee got its first extension of six months in November, 2022 and second of four months in May this year.