Parliamentary panel reviews Goa’s uniform civil code

Tags: State News

A parliamentary committee reviewed Goa's Uniform Civil Code. Some members of the committee believe that it contains some strange and outdated provisions related to marriage.

Important facts

  • The Goa Civil Code, applicable to citizens of all religions and origins of the coastal state, is at the centre of discussion amid calls for a uniform civil code across the country.

  • States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have proposed to implement Uniform Civil Code.

  • Members of Parliament's Standing Committee on Law Personnel Affairs, headed by Sushil Kumar Modi, had visited Goa in June and reviewed the civil code there.

Goa Civil Code

  • In 1867, Portugal enacted a Portuguese civil code, and in 1869 it was extended to the overseas provinces of Portugal (which included Goa).

  • It is considered a Uniform Civil Code.

  • Generally, the Goa Civil Code is far more gender-justifiable than other laws in the country.

  • The law does not recognize bigamy or polygamy, including by Muslims.

  • The law provides for compulsory registration of marriage before a civil authority, ensuring that the wife is an equal heir and entitled to half of the "common property".

  • The parents have to compulsorily share at least half of the property with their children including daughters.

What is a Uniform Civil Code?

  • Uniform Civil Code means one law for the whole country, which is applicable to all religious communities in their personal matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption etc.

  • Article 44 of the Constitution talks about securing a Uniform Civil Code for every citizen of the country.

  • Article 44 is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP).

  • Article 37 of the Constitution makes it clear that the DPSP "shall not be enforced by any court"but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.

  • The Supreme Court for the first time directed the Parliament to frame a uniform civil code in the year 1985 in Shah Bano case.

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