Interference in religious matters, says AIMPLB on Uttarakhand UCC Bill

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All India Muslim Personal Law Board President Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani with Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President Mahmood Asad Madani during a press conference of Muslim leaders, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board President Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani with Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President Mahmood Asad Madani during a press conference of Muslim leaders, in New Delhi, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.

Lucknow: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Tuesday opposed the tabling of the Uniform Civil Code Bill in the Uttarakhand assembly, calling it an interference in religious matters. It also the questioned the relevance of the Bill when it exempts the tribal population of the state.

As it sets out common provisions, the Bill effectively bans polygamy and halala - without naming them -- practiced among a section of Muslims. Marriages can be solemnised through separate rituals, like saptapadi, nikah and anand karaj, followed by different communities.

"Basically, there is no use of such kind of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) when you are yourself saying that certain communities will be exempted from the Act. Then where is the uniformity? UCC means that the same laws should be implemented on each and every citizen of the state," Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali, executive committee member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board told PTI.

"Since we all know that we still have Article 25 of the Constitution (the freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion), each and every citizen has full constitutional right to follow his/her religion in day-to-day life. So, why are you interfering in religious matters? Because personal laws are the religious matters of each and every community," he said.

The common civil code bill will become a law in Uttarakhand once it is passed by the BJP-majority House and gets the governor’s consent. This will be the first such move in any state after independence and it could be followed by similar legislations in other BJP-run states.

The hill state's small tribal community is exempted from the proposed law, which also mandates registration of live-in relationships.

Coming just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Uniform Civil Code, Uttarakhand, 2024 bill ticks off an important item on the BJP's ideological agenda of a common law on marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance for all citizens, irrespective of their religion.

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