The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a call for the formulation of a single law applicable to all religious communities in India, governing civil matters such as marriage, divorce, succession, and adoption. Article 44 of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) in the Indian Constitution urges the state to strive for a uniform civil code throughout the country. However, the absence of UCC is seen as contradictory to the principles of secularism, science, and modernism ingrained in Indian society and its legal framework.

Points supporting the absence of UCC being contradictory to secularism, science, and modernism:

  • Conflicts in Personal Laws: The existence of separate personal laws in a modern society creates contradictions and complexities, leading to challenges for young individuals from various communities seeking to solemnize their marriages. For example, the High Court of Delhi has highlighted this issue.
  • Legal Hurdles and Pendency: The coexistence of multiple personal laws results in legal hurdles and increased pendency in civil disputes, burdening the judicial system.
  • Gender Bias: Most personal laws are archaic and reflect gender bias, providing women with an inferior status in matters of marriage, divorce, and succession. This reinforces patriarchal dominance within the society.
  • Human Dignity and Rights: Certain provisions in personal laws raise concerns about human dignity and rights. For instance, practices like Nikah halala and maintenance of divorced Muslim women have faced criticism for violating human rights principles.
  • Non-Scientific Religious Practices: Religious practices sanctioned by personal laws, such as purdah, polygamy, and child marriages based on religious doctrines like sharia, are seen as unscientific and contrary to the fundamental duty of fostering scientific temperament.

Points highlighting challenges in implementing UCC:

  • Potential Social-Religious Strife: The implementation of UCC may be perceived as interference in minority communities’ personal practices, leading to social-religious tensions.
  • Constitutional Hurdles: Article 25 of the Indian Constitution grants citizens the right to freedom of conscience, practice, profession, and propagation of religion, potentially creating constitutional challenges to UCC.
  • Law Commission’s Views: The Law Commission’s report on “Reform of Family Law” has expressed reservations about the necessity and desirability of a UCC.
  • Lessons from Western Countries: In Western countries, homogenous application of civil laws has led to social problems like riots and lone wolf attacks. A similar hasty approach to UCC implementation in India may pose similar challenges in its diverse society.
  • Risk of Alienation: Implementing UCC without internal reforms may alienate minority communities, providing an opportunity for hostile forces to create social unrest.


While the Supreme Court of India has emphasized the need for a UCC, it is crucial to ensure that such a code is based on secular, scientific principles rather than any particular religious ideology. Implementing a well-designed UCC can contribute to building a gender-neutral, harmonious, and modern society, upholding the values of secularism and scientific temperament. However, due consideration must be given to the challenges involved in order to foster social cohesion and inclusivity in the process.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish March 1, 2024