Press Council chief backs Uniform Civil Code

Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Markandey Katju supported the Uniform Civil Code claiming that one of the reasons for the backwardness of muslims has been that there has been no modernisation of their personal law.

PTI| Last Updated: May 31, 2014, 22:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Press Council of India Chairperson Justice Markandey Katju today supported the Uniform Civil Code, a controversial core issue of BJP, claiming that one of the reasons for the backwardness of muslims has been that there has been no modernisation of their personal law.

"The issue of a uniform civil code has recently been raised. I am fully in support of a uniform civil code," Katju, a former Supreme Court judge, said in a write-up.

He said that Article 44 of the Indian Constitution states that "The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India."

The Constitution was made in 1950, and 64 years have passed since it was promulgated, but Article 44 has till now been totally ignored, obviously for vote bank politics, he said.

Katju said that no doubt Article 44 is in the Directive Principles, and not the Fundamental Rights of Constitution, but Article 37 states that "the provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable in any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws "

Contending that he has always been raising voice for the rights of Muslims, he said "In fact, one of the reasons for Muslims in India remaining backward is that there was no modernization of their personal law."
Katju said that in all modern countries there is usually one common law for everybody and in India also there is one common criminal law.
"Nobody objected to that, though many of these laws are against the Muslim law. For instance, Muslim law provides for stoning to death for women committing adultery, but that would be illegal under the IPC," Katju wrote.