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‘UCC unacceptable’, All India Muslim Personal Law Board tells Law Commission

New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has told the Law Commission of India that even a minute change in the basic format of Sharia will not be acceptable, as the Indian Constitution mentions freedom of religion as a fundamental right.

It said that Sharia law (Muslim personal law) based on the Quran and Sunna (the Prophet’s words and actions) cannot be altered, while Ijtihad, i.e., Islamic scholars’ opinions, can differ with time and situations.

A delegation from AIMPLB led by its President Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani had on Wednesday met the Chairman of the Law Commission, Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, to convey its stand on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

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The body, which claims to protect Muslim personal laws, questioned why only Muslims have not been exempted from UCC when the government is ready to exclude tribals and Christians of Northeastern states from its application.

The AIMPLB said if anybody has a problem with religious personal law, then they can solemnise their marriage under the Special Marriage Registration Act, which is a secular law.

Presently, under Muslim law, there is no such specific age prescribed for marriage and if both husband and wife are in a position to fulfill the obligations of marriage, they can marry.

Notably, the issue of whether such marriages will be hit by provisions contained under the provisions of Child Marriage Restraint Act and Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act is pending consideration before the Supreme Court.

As per a statement issued by AIMPL, the Chairman of the Law Commission has assured that it is not going to suggest any substantial change that may alter the basic features of Sharia Law as its role is just limited to making suggestions and the government will have to take final call.

On June 14, the 22nd Law Commission solicited the views and ideas of the public and recognised religious organisations to examine the UCC.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address to BJP workers in Bhopal, had pitched for UCC.

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