New Delhi, Aug 31: The Law Commission on Friday said a uniform civil code is not necessary at this state and secularism cannot contradict the plurality prevailing in the country. The commission, led by former Supreme Court judge justice BS Chauhan, made the observations in its 185-page consultation paper. On June 17, 2016, the Ministry of Law and Justice directed the commission to 'examine matters in relation to uniform civil code‘.

"While diversity of Indian culture can and should be celebrated, specific groups, or weaker sections of the society must not be dis-privileged in the process. Resolution of this conflict does not mean abolition of difference. This Commission has therefore dealt with laws that are discriminatory rather than providing a uniform civil code which is neither necessary nor desirable at this stage," the commission said. Women Should Get Equal Share in Property Acquired After Marriage Upon Divorce, Says Law Panel.

"In the absence of any consensus on a uniform civil code the Commission felt that the best way forward may be to preserve the diversity of personal laws but at the same time ensure that personal laws do not contradict fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India," it stated. The commission said true secularism will prevail if religious and regional differences don't get supressed by the majority.

"The term secularism only has meaning if it can also assure that the expression of any form of 'difference', not just religious but also regional does not get subsumed under the louder voice of the majority; and at the same time no discriminatory practice hides behind the cloak of 'religion' to gain legitimacy," the commission said. "Secularism only ensures peaceful co-existence of cultural differences," it added.

“By codification of different personal laws, one can arrive at certain universal principles that prioritise equity rather than imposition of a uniform code, which would discourage many from using the law altogether, given that matters of marriage and divorce can also be settled extra-judicially,” the Commission reasoned.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 31, 2018 09:17 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website