Law panel questionnaire on civil code: BJP yet to reply

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NEW DELHI: The BJP is yet to respond to a law commission questionnaire on the contentious uniform civil code floated in October 2016, while most of the opposition parties which replied have dubbed the move to refer the matter to the law panel as a part of the ruling party’s “political agenda”. Sources in the law panel said the BJP is yet to respond to the questionnaire on the civil code. Though the deadline has ended, the commission is open to receiving responses as it is still far from finalising its report.
Responding to the questionnaire, parties such as the Congress, the BSP and the TMC are learnt to have refrained from saying as to whether they support to a common code or not. They have, however, dubbed the decision of the government to refer the matter to the law panel as part of its political agenda to further its political interests, the sources said.
The BSP, which was the first party to respond, has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging the agenda of the RSS is being imposed on the people. Responding to the law panel’s request to answer the questionnaire, the BSP said the party is attaching a press statement issued by Mayawati on October 25, 2016 in Lucknow. Instead of answering the 16 questions put out by the law panel, the BSP said the press statement is its response to the questionnaire.
The BSP statement said the BJP has been trying to impose the agenda of the RSS on the people ever since it came to power at the Centre. Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is learnt to have opposed a common code and has supported its stand through certain court orders. The NCP is learnt to have opposed the practice of “instant triple talaq” but has by and large supported separate personal laws.
The sources in the panel said the questionnaire has so far received over 45,000 responses which continue to pour in even after the expiry of the deadline. While the deadline to send the responses ended on December 21, 2016 the law panel said it would continue to entertain responses received after the deadline. “Uniform Civil Code is one of the important projects before the Law Commission. The responses/replies received by the Commission are being processed. The response/replies received, if any, after the date may also be considered,” it had said in a brief statement earlier.
Law panel chairman Justice B S Chauhan (retd) had recently said that the commission will recommend religion-wise “piece meal” amendments to family laws if it finds it difficult to come out with a composite uniform civil code. He also said that the civil code cannot be violative of any provision of the Constitution.