Register Live-In Relationships Or Face 6-Month Jail: Uttarakhand UCC Bill
The Uttarakhand government has introduced the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). This UCC aims to apply one set of laws to all citizens, regardless of their religion, in matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption.
One of the most talked-about aspects of Uttarakhand’s UCC is the regulation of live-in relationships. Under the new rules, couples in such relationships must officially register them.
Failing to do so, or providing false information, could result in a jail term of up to six months, a ₹25,000 fine, or both.
Even delays in registration could lead to penalties. The UCC also states that children born from live-in relationships will be legally recognized.
The UCC is seen as necessary for creating a more unified legal framework in India. Currently, different religions follow their own laws, which can complicate legal processes and create inequalities. The UCC is expected to simplify these laws and promote national unity.
Uttarakhand’s UCC also includes other significant changes. It proposes a complete ban on practices like polygamy and child marriage. The marriageable age for girls will be standardized across all faiths, and a uniform process for divorce will be established.
Furthermore, the UCC seeks to ban certain Islamic practices, such as ‘halala’ and ‘iddat’.
Halala is a practice in Islamic law where if a couple gets divorced and wants to marry again, the woman has to marry another man, have a sexual relationship with another man, and then get divorced from him before she can marry her first husband again.
Iddat is a waiting period observed by Muslim women after the death of their husbands or after a divorce. It restricts them from marrying another man for over 4 months. Iddat limits women’s freedom and makes it challenging for women due to financial difficulties and social isolation.
The state government developed this comprehensive 749-page UCC document after considering feedback from over 2.33 lakh written submissions and engaging with around 60,000 people.
Uttarakhand is not alone in this endeavor; Assam, another BJP-ruled state, has also announced plans to implement a similar code. However, in both states, tribal communities will be exempt from these new rules.