The need for a uniform civil code

60-year-old Shah Bano went to court seeking maintenance from her husband who had divorced her. The court ruled in her favour - maintenance from her ex-husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code with an upper limit of Rs. 500 a month. This was not the first such judgment granting a divorced Muslim woman maintenance under Section 125 like all Indian women. But the orthodox lobby termed the verdict an attack on Islam.

When a court in India ruled in favour of 60-year-old Shah Bano, granting her maintenance (under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code with an upper limit of Rs. 500 a month) from her ex-husband who had divorced her, it was not the first such judgment granting a divorced Muslim woman maintenance under Section 125 like all Indian women. But the orthodox lobby termed the verdict an attack on Islam.

Received the following note via email from Justice Katju in New Delhi, posted below. He has also posted it to his blog.

Uniform Civil Code

The refusal to modernise Muslim law or enact a common civil code has contributed to keeping Muslims backward in India, and has thus done great harm to Muslims

By Justice Markandey Katju

The issue of a uniform civil code has recently been raised. I am fully in support of a uniform civil code.

Article 44 of the Indian Constitution states : “The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Continue reading

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