The term ‘civil code’ refers to the entire body of laws governing rights relating to property and otherwise, in personal matters such as divorce, marriage, maintenance, inheritance and adoption. The idea is to unify all these personal laws, i.e. one set of secular laws dealing with these aspects, applicable to every citizen of India, irrespective of whichever community they belong to. Though the exact contours of such a uniform code have not yet been spelt out, it should nevertheless include the most modern and progressive aspects of all personal laws while discarding those which are retrograde.Many consider UCC as the sign of modern progressive nation, which reflects non-discrimination on any basis. But there are many others who believe that implementing UCC will limit the freedom of people to follow their religion since personal laws in India find a close relation to one’s religion.
Article 44 of the Indian Constitution provides that: “The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.” However, separate personal laws were retained for separate communities after detailed debates and discussions. UCC was consciously included as a Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP). While explaining the reason for including Article 44 in the DPSP, it was observed, “When you want to consolidate a community, you have to take into consideration the benefits which may accrue to the whole community and not to the customs or a part of it… every minority has to submit to the Civil Code and it is not felt to be tyrannical to the minorities.”
There have been numerous Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed before the Supreme Court, emphasising the need for UCC and seeking its proper implementation. On the one hand, the Apex Court has also considered it as the need of the hour, and has suggested that there should be uniformity in personal law, and while on the other, it has declined to direct Parliament to form the UCC stating that it’s outside its realm.
The other side of the Coin: Secularism
The controversy revolving around UCC is about conflict between secularism and the freedom of religion provided in the Constitution of India. Secularism is one of the basic structures of the Indian Constitution. Article 25 guarantees the freedom to practise, profess and propagate any religion. India was declared as a secular nation by the 42nd Amendment of 1976. Justice Jeevan Reddy opined in the S.R Bommai case– “religion is the matter of individual faith and cannot be mixed with secular activities which can be regulated by legislation of the State.” The State has not interfered with religious practices, including in relation to various personal laws. Following the practise of non-interference is viewed as being contradictory to secularism which requires the State to be inert to religious considerations. Under Article 25(2) the State is empowered to frame any law to regulate secular activity which may be associated with religious practise. Therefore, it is argued that Article 25 is no bar to having a UCC.
Framing a Uniform Civil Code is the sole prerogative of the Parliament. The BJP-led government has taken no action to enact the Uniform Civil Code, despite the fact that they had kept it in its 2014 election manifesto. The major concern however remains that unprejudiced deliberations on the innate merits of a UCC should not be overshadowed by communal and political overtones.
Role of the Judiciary
The Supreme Court first directed the Parliament to frame the UCC in 1985 in the Shah Bano Case, which involved the question of maintenance for a Muslim woman, from her husband under Section 125 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Chief Justice Chandrachud observed:
“A common civil code will help the cause of national integration by removing disparate loyalties to law which have conflicting ideologies.”
Another such instance was the Sarla Mudgal case wherein the question whether conversion to Islam to enter into a new marriage repudiates the previous one was dealt with. Lily Thomas case, Iqbal Bano case, Daniel Latifi case, also dealt with similar aspects.
If implemented in its letter and spirit, the UCC is sufficient to divide India politically, religiously and socially. A motherly central state along with arts core institutions, an activist and powerful Supreme Court, has taken well-choreographed steps to achieve this particular outcome.India is a country of “Unity in Diversity” having multi traditions and religions. Civil matters of the people must be taken in the same clutches of law, for that alone would achieve the fundamental constitutional goal of fraternity in the true sense, otherwise the constitutional spirit will be violated by the divisive forces. 
 Chapter – 4 Uniform Civil Code – A Need of the Hour, http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/54472/11/11_chapter%204.pdf
 http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=98057, visited on 5- 11-2013.
 Constitutional Assembly Debates Volume VII Page 547.
 S.R Bommai v. UOI (1994) 3 SCC 1
 Mohammad Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum AIR 1985 SC 945
SarlaMudgal v. UOI AIR 1995 SC 1531
 Lily Thomas and Ors. V. UOI and Ors (2000) 6 SCC 224
 Iqbal Bano v. State of U.P and Anr. 2007 SC.
 Daniel Latifi and Ors. V. UOI 2001 SC.
 Law Mantra, Think Beyond Others (International Monthly Journal, I.S.S.N 2321 6417) Journal.law.mantra.co.in , www.lawmantra.co.in
 Werner Menski, ‘The Uniform Civil Code Debate in Indian Kaw. New Development and Changing Agenda (2008) 9 (4) German Law Journal at 212-213
 American International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, ISSN (Print) 2328-3734.