Member of Parliament and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirori Lal Meena on Friday introduced the Uniform Civil Code in India Bill, 2020 in Rajya Sabha, amid vehement protests by the Opposition members.
Meena moved for leave to introduce the Bill to provide for the constitution of the national inspection and investigation committee for the preparation of a Uniform Civil Code and its implementation throughout India and for matters connected therewith during the private member’s business.
Opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI, and CPI(M) opposed the bill, arguing that it will destroy the social fabric and the element of unity in diversity in the country. After the introduction of the Bill was opposed by the Opposition members, Vice President and Upper House Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar called for a division of votes.
The motion for the introduction of the Bill was passed with 63 members voting in its favour and 23 voting against it.
Three motions were placed to oppose the Bill, stating that it would disintegrate the country and hurt its diverse culture. A Uniform Civil Code is neither necessary nor desirable, CPI(M) MP John Brittas, said citing a report by the Law Commission of India.
While DMK’s Tiruchi Siva said the very idea of a Uniform Civil Code goes against the idea of secularism, a Samajwadi Party MP said a Uniform Civil Code is violative of the provisions of the Constitution.
Defending the introduction of the Bill, Union minister Piyush Goyal argued that it is the legitimate right of a Member to raise an issue under the directive principles of the Constitution. “Let this subject be debated in the House…at this stage to cast aspersions on the government, to try to criticise the Bill, is uncalled-for,” he said.