Most of the opposition parties who have responded to the Law Commission questionnaire on the contentious uniform civil code have dubbed the move to refer the matter to it as part of the BJP government’s “political agenda” with some of them even questioning the timing ahead of Uttar Pradesh polls.
Responding to the questionnaire, parties such as Congress, BSP and TMC are learnt to have refrained from saying as to whether they support to a common code or not. They have, however, dubbed the decision of the government to refer the matter to the law panel as part of its political agenda to further its political interests, sources said.
Some parties have also questioned the timing of the decision to refer the matter to the Commission ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls due early next year.
The BSP, which was perhaps the first party to respond to the law panel, has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly imposing the agenda of the RSS on the people.
Responding to the law panel’s request to answer the questionnaire, BSP said the party is attaching a press statement issued by Mayawati on October 25 in Lucknow.
Instead of answering the 16 questions put out by the law panel, the BSP said the press statement is its response to the questionnaire.
The BSP statement said the BJP has been trying to impose the agenda of the RSS on the people ever since it came to power at the Centre.
Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is learnt to have opposed a common code and has supported its stand through certain court orders.
The NCP is learnt to have opposed the practice of “instant triple talaq” but has by and large supported separate personal laws.
Highly-placed sources in the panel said the questionnaire has so far received over 40,000 responses which continue to pour in even after the expiry of the deadline.
While the deadline to send the responses ended on December 21, the law panel said it would continue to entertain responses received after the deadline.
“Uniform Civil Code is one of the important projects before the Law Commission. The responses/replies received by the Commission are being processed. The response/replies received, if any, after the date may also be considered,” it said in a brief statement.
Should the practice of triple talaq be abolished and whether a uniform civil code should be optional, the Law Commission had on October 7 asked the public seeking response on these sensitive issues.
The All Indian Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had slammed the questionnaire, saying it was uncalled for.
Amid a raging debate on uniform civil code, the law panel had sought public views on the subject to revise and reform family laws, saying the aim is to address social injustice and its not against plurality of laws.
The Commission said the objective behind the endeavour is to address discrimination against vulnerable groups and harmonise the various cultural practices even as it assured the people the “norms of no one class, group or community will dominate the tone and tenor of family law reforms”.
In an accompanying questionnaire, the Commission had asked whether the existing personal laws and customary practices need codification and whether it would benefit people.
Should the practice of triple talaq be abolished, retained or retained with suitable amendments; and whether a uniform civil code should be optional are among 16 queries by the commission.