No decision yet on SC’s poser to Centre on Uniform Civil Code

NEW DELHI: The law ministry is yet to firm up its stand on the Uniform Civil Code. Any decision is unlikely before the conclusion of campaigning of the final phase of Bihar assembly elections. The government is facing a deadline to respond to a Supreme Court poser on its stand on a common code.

Though the NDA government is in favour of a Uniform Civil Code, it is not in a hurry to articulate its stand. A senior official said the government will initiate a wider consultation with all stakeholders, including all major political parties and personal law boards.

As for its affidavit to the SC, law minister Sadananda Gowda is likely to hold a consultation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior Cabinet colleagues in the first week of November before finalizing the Centre’s stand.

A day after the Supreme Court had asked the Centre whether it is willing to bring in a common civil code, the law minister had told TOI that a uniform civil code is necessary for the integration of the country.

He had, however, clarified that the government will carry out a wider consultation since it is a very sensitive issue. Gowda had said that a decision “cannot be done in a day or two. It will take time.” But in the national interest, certainly a step needs to be taken in this direction, he had said.

“The uniform civil code will certainly have some impact on the integrity of the country…even the Preamble of our Constitution and Article 44 of the Constitution do say that there should be a Uniform Civil Code. For the interest of national integration, certainly a common civil code is necessary,” he had said.

The minister is currently in Bangalore and most of the Cabinet ministers are busy campaigning in Bihar. November 5 is the last day of polling in the five-phase of assembly elections. Results are to be declared on November 8.