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April 17, 2024
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“Overcoming State-Specific provisions: Key challenges for UCC enactment”

Uniform Civil Code(UCC)- Whereas Uniform Civil Code demand is picking up in India, the challenges before the ruling party are many! A renowned social activist from Nawanshahr, Ashwani Joshi says to reminds that, if we read the constitution the Article 371, it seems another hurdle in the UCC run to finishing line.

Article 371 in Part XXI of the Indian Constitution comprises the special provisions for twelve states of India that are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Sikkim, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Goa, Manipur and Karnataka.

Special provisions have been provided to some states under the Constitution of India, listed in Articles 371 and 371(A-J) incorporated through amendments under Article 368, which lays down the power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure.

States that have special provisions under Article 371(A-J):

Article 371 – Maharashtra and Gujarat

Governors of the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat are given special responsibilities to set up development boards in regions such as Vidarbha, Marathwada, Kutchh etc.

Article 371A – Nagaland

Article 371A of the Constitution mainly states that no act of Parliament would apply to the state of Nagaland in matter relating to religious or social practices of Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources. The Legislative Assembly of Nagaland must pass a resolution for an act to be applicable to the state.

The governor is given special responsibilities with respect to law and order in the state as well.

Article 371B – Assam

According to the special provision under Article 371B, the president may provide for the Constitution and functions of a committee of Legislative Assembly of the state consisting of members elected from the tribal areas of Assam.

Article 371C – Manipur

The special provision under Article 371C in the case of Manipur is similar to 371B for Assam. Here, too, the president may provide for the Constitution and functions of a committee of Legislative Assembly of the state, but consisting of members elected from the hill areas of Manipur.

The governor must submit an annual report to the president regarding the administration of hill areas as well.

Article 371D & E – Andhra Pradesh

Article 371D, which was added to the Constitution in 1974, provides equitable opportunities and facilities for the people of the state and safeguards their rights in matters of employment and education. The state government may organise civil posts or direct recruitment to posts in local cadre as required.

Article 371E states that the Parliament may by law provide for the establishment of a University in Andhra Pradesh.

Article 371F – Sikkim

Article 371F was incorporated into the Constitution in 1975. It states that the Legislative Assembly shall consist of not less than 30 members. In order to protect the rights and interests of the different sections of the population in the state of Sikkim, seats in the assembly are provided to people of these different sections.

Article 371G – Mizoram

The Legislative Assembly of the state of Mizoram must consist of not less than 40 members. In addition, following the same provisions as Nagaland, an act of Parliament would not apply to Mizoram in matters relating to religious or social practices of Mizo, Mizo customary law and procedure, administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Mizo customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

Article 371H – Arunachal Pradesh

The Legislative Assembly of the state of Mizoram must consist of not less than 30 members. The governor will have special responsibility with respect to law and order in the state.

Article 371I – Goa

The Legislative Assembly of the state of Goa must consist of not less than 30 members.

Article 371J

Article 371J grants special status to six backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The special provision requires that a separate development board be established for these regions (similar to Maharashtra and Gujarat) and also ensures local reservation in education and government jobs.

Let’s watch to see how this hurdle is overcome by parliament experts?

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