Couples Must Register Live-In Relationships Within A Month: Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code

The Uniform Civil Code was recently presented by the Uttarakhand government at the state assembly. The bill proposes a common law on marriage, divorce, land, property and inheritance for all citizens irrespective of their religion in Uttarakhand, excluding the Scheduled Tribes.

According to Indian Express, the bill aims to regulate live-in relationships. Couples in a live-in relationship are supposed to register their relationship within a month of getting into the relationship. If they fail to do so, they will face imprisonment for up to 3 months, a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.

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The bill makes it “obligatory for partners to a live-in relationship within a State, whether they are resident of Uttarakhand or not, to submit a statement of live-in relationship under sub-section (1) of section 381 to the Registrar within whose jurisdiction they are so living.”

The registrar will then conduct a “summary inquiry” into the relationship to make sure that the relationship does not fall under any of the categories mentioned under Section 380 including:

  • Where at least one of the persons is a minor.
  • Where at least one of the persons is married.
  • Where at least one of the persons is already in a live-in relationship.

In case of termination of the relationship, couples are required to submit a “statement of live-in relationship” to the registrar concerned.

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Responding to the Uniform Civil Code Bill, Investigative Journalist Saurav Das wrote, “The State is now inside your bedrooms, requiring you to “register” who you love, where you love, when you started loving, when the love ended. This is moral policing given state sanction.”

He went on to raise certain very important questions.

“Aside from this, how exactly can the state/police practically enforce this law? What if you live-in but are not in a relationship? Or there are frequent break-ups and patch-ups? Or if you are in a situation-ship? What about same-sex couples? In a system that is so marred by widespread perjury, how exactly will an already overburdened criminal justice system seek the truth here? This criminalisation of personal relationships will only feed vigilantes and fringe elements. Besides, it will bring further chaos and instability for vulnerable couples in non-Tier I cities. Whoever has made this bill was clearly driven by regressive ideological concerns rather than practical realities.”

Have a look at his post here:

Many people online also called the bill out for perpetuating regressive ideas about live-in relationships and said that it is an attack on one’s personal life. Here’s what they said:

What are your views on the Uniform Civil Code Bill?

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