6 Feb 2024

What Does Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code Says on Live-In Relationships, Parental Involvement, Child's Rights, and More

The Uttarakhand Assembly introduced a bill on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) on Tuesday, aligning with Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami's commitment to inclusivity and development as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The proposed UCC addresses various issues, including the prohibition of polygamy and child marriage, standardizing marriageable age, and streamlining divorce processes.

UCC's Stand on Live-In Relationships

The UCC's stance on live-in relationships has become a focal point. Such people will be required to register with district authorities upon implementation of UCC. Individuals under 21 must secure parental consent for cohabitation. Registration extends to Uttarakhand residents in live-in relationships outside the state. 

Relationships deemed against public policy, involving a married partner, a minor, or obtained through coercion, fraud, or misrepresentation, will not be registered.

A dedicated website for live-in relationship registration is reportedly in development. The District Registrar will verify information through a "summary inquiry," potentially involving the summoning of partners or relevant individuals. In cases of denial, the Registrar must provide written reasons for the decision.

Legal Ramifications for Non-disclosure of Live-In Relationships

Failure to disclose live-in relationships or providing false information can result in imprisonment for up to three months, a Rs 25,000 fine, or both. Failing to register carries a maximum penalty of six months' imprisonment, a Rs 25,000 fine, or both. A one-month delay in registration may lead to imprisonment for up to three months, a Rs 10,000 fine, or both.

Legitimacy of Children Born from Live-In Relationships

A significant provision in the UCC pertains to children born from live-in relationships. They will be legally recognized as legitimate offspring, eliminating the stigma of being labeled "illegitimate." Equal inheritance rights, including parental property, are guaranteed to all children, with the UCC using the term "child" instead of distinguishing between "son" and "daughter."

Additionally, the UCC draft grants a woman abandoned by her live-in partner the right to seek maintenance, although the criteria for defining "abandonment" are not explicitly outlined.

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