Uttarakhand Civil Code: Key highlights of live-in relationships and divorce grounds

| Updated: 06 February, 2024 8:52 pm IST

NEW DELHI:Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami made a significant move on Tuesday by presenting the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill in the state assembly.
This Bill aims at standardising laws concerning marriage, divorce, and inheritance across different religious communities, promoting uniformity. Among its provisions, the Bill proposes the prohibition of practices like polygamy and sets a uniform marriage age for citizens regardless of their religious affiliation.

Under Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code, couples living together must register with district officials. Those under 21 need parental consent. Failure to register within a month may lead to a jail term of 3-6 months or a Rs 25,000 fine, or both

 

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The registration process for live-in relationships involves submitting a statement of their living arrangement to the nearest registrar, who will conduct an inquiry. If deemed appropriate, the registrar will issue a registration certificate within 30 days; otherwise, the reasons for refusal will be provided in writing.

Live-in relationships will not be registered if they contravene public morality, involve a married or otherwise committed partner, include a minor, or if consent was obtained through force or deceit, according to the provisions of the UCC Bill.

Regarding the termination of registered live-in relationships, either or both partners may dissolve the registration through a written statement submitted to district officials. In cases involving minors, their parents or guardians will be informed accordingly.

The Uniform Civil Code Uttarakhand 2024 Bill, tabled by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s government, is a culmination of extensive efforts. A panel, led by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, was commissioned in 2022 to prepare the draft.

Dhami emphasised that the UCC Bill reflects a thorough process of public dialogue, deliberation, and incorporation of suggestions. Among its key recommendations are the complete prohibition of polygamy and child marriage.

Dhami introduced the Bill during the second day of the special four-day Assembly session, symbolically arriving at the House with a copy of the Constitution.

However, the Opposition expressed discontent on Tuesday, stating that the draft should have been presented to the Assembly at least a day earlier to allow for thorough examination by the MLAs.

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