New Delhi, 6 February : Individuals who are currently in or considering entering into live-in partnerships are advised to register themselves under Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code (UCC) once it is enacted into law.
Those who neglect to comply with these regulations could face a jail sentence of up to six months and a fine of Rs 25,000, or both.
The UCC bill, which advocates for uniform laws governing marriage, divorce, land ownership, property rights, and inheritance regardless of religious affiliation, was introduced in the Uttarakhand assembly today amidst chants of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Vande Mataram”.
According to the proposed legislation, individuals under the age of 21 require parental consent and must declare whether they are residents of Uttarakhand when registering with the Registrar.
Key provisions of the Uttarakhand UCC include:
– Individuals who engage in live-in relationships for more than a month without registering with the Registrar may face penalties, including imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of Rs 10,000, or both.
– Those who provide false information or withhold details in their registration statement may be subject to imprisonment for up to three months and a fine not exceeding Rs 25,000.
– Statements submitted by live-in partners will be forwarded to the local police station, and authorities will notify the police if any discrepancies are found.
– Under the UCC, women deserted in live-in relationships have the right to seek maintenance from the court.
– Children born within live-in partnerships are considered legitimate offspring of the couple.
However, there are exceptions to registering live-in relationships in Uttarakhand:
– Relationships between individuals prohibited by law, such as close relatives, will not be registered.
– Registration is not permitted if one or both partners are already married or in another live-in arrangement, if either partner is a minor, or if consent was obtained through force, coercion, or fraud.
Terminating a live-in relationship:
– To dissolve a live-in partnership, both partners or either of them must submit a termination statement to the Registrar within their jurisdiction.
– The partner initiating the termination must provide a copy of the statement to their former partner.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami presented the UCC bill in the state assembly. As a symbolic gesture, he carried an original copy of the Constitution while entering the assembly hall.
Upon its enactment, Uttarakhand will become the first state in the country post-Independence to embrace the UCC.
The passage of this legislation fulfills a significant pledge made by the BJP to the people of the state during the 2022 Assembly elections, during which the saffron party secured a landslide victory for the second consecutive term.
Several BJP-governed states, including Gujarat and Assam, have shown interest in adopting the Uttarakhand UCC as a template.