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New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in poll-bound Gujarat on Saturday, October 29, moved a proposal to constitute a committee to look into all aspects regarding the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.
Assembly elections are slated to take place in the state later this year, with the schedule for the elections expected to be announced next week.
Incumbent Gujarat minister of state for home Harsh Sanghvi said that the proposal to create the committee was cleared by the state cabinet during the Saturday meeting; which was likely the final meeting of chief minister Bhupendra Patil’s cabinet.
“The committee will be headed by a retired high court judge and will have three to four members,” Union minister Parshottam Rupala said, according to PTI.
This is in line with similar committees set up the BJP governments in Uttarakhand and poll-bound Himachal Pradesh.
Earlier this month, the Union government has opposed a petition filed by BJP spokesperson and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay before the Supreme Court seeking uniform grounds and procedure for divorce, adoption and guardianship for all communities across the country.
The government also informed the apex court that it had requested the Law Commission to examine various issues relating to the Uniform Civil Code and make a recommendation.
“In view of the importance of the subject matter and sensitivity involved which requires in-depth study of the provisions of various personal laws governing different communities, the Central government requested the Law Commission of India to undertake examination of various issues relating to uniform civil code and to make recommendations,” the affidavit said.
It added that once the Commission submits its report, it would examine it in consultation with various stakeholders.
The top court had earlier sought a comprehensive response from the Union government on a batch of petitions seeking a direction to the government to frame religion and gender-neutral laws for civil matters.
In response, the law ministry had told the Supreme Court that Parliament exercises the sovereign right to frame laws and no outside authority can issue it a direction to enact a law, thus recommending that petitions seeking a uniform civil code (UCC) should be dismissed as non-maintainable.