4 takeaways from Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code Bill: on live-in relationships, bigamy and more

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami tabled the state’s proposed Unifrom Civil Code Bill in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (February 6). An expert panel had earlier made recommendations for the Bill, which seeks to “govern and regulate the laws related to marriage and divorce, successions, live-in relationships, and matters related thereto.”Here’s what the Bill says on some major areas related to personal laws:1. Provisions of the UCC Bill do not apply to tribal communitiesCurrently, personal laws in India are complex, with each religion following its specific regulations. The idea of the UCC is to create a set of uniform laws applicable to all the communities in India when it comes to personal laws on marriage, inheritance, divorce, etc. However, this Bill’s provisions will not apply to tribal communities. The Bill says, “Nothing contained in this code shall apply to the members of any Scheduled Tribes within the meaning of clause (25) of Article 366 read with Article 142 of the Constitution of India and the persons and group of persons whose customary rights are protected under Part XXI of the Constitution of India.”Given the unique customary practices of tribal communities, many have criticised the idea of the UCC over the years. The Bill makes it “obligatory for partners to a live-in relationship within a State, whether they are resident of Uttarakhand or not, to submit a statement of live-in relationship 
under sub-section (1) of section 381 to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction they are so living.”

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