The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

Debate Summary

Draft Article 35 (Article 44 of the Constitution of India, 1950) on November 23, 1948. The Assembly debated whether personal laws were to be given prominence over making an en masse uniform code. Further, how the religious communities must be consulted before the State decides to enact a Uniform Civil Code was also debated. The conflict between the freedom to profess, propagate and practice one’s religion, and the need for uniformity in certain religious practices to ensure equality in the society was considered in detail. 

Given the huge diversity of India, some of the members opposed the idea of a uniform code as that would hamper the harmony and amity among the communities and deeply impacted individual liberty and personal freedom. However, in order to curb the discriminatory practices against women in certain religions, this article was considered necessary. 

The debate on this article concluded on the ground that the goal of a Uniform Civil Code would not hamper the parliament from enacting a code that would suit the needs of the future Indian society. The directive principle imposing a duty on the state to enact the Uniform Civil Code was accordingly adopted.