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Register Live-In Relationship Or Face Prison: Uttarakhand UCC Bill Provision Draws Flak From Op

Register Live-In Relationship Or Face Prison: Uttarakhand UCC Bill Provision Draws Flak From Op
Uttarakhand has proposed stringent measures regarding live-in relationships under its Uniform Civil Code (UCC) bill, stating that partners opting for such arrangements must register themselves with district officials. Failure to comply could result in imprisonment. The bill, tabled in the state assembly by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, aims to regulate live-in relationships akin to marriages.

According to the provisions outlined in the bill, live-in partners, like married couples, are mandated to register their relationship, news agency PTI reported. Additionally, individuals engaging in live-in relationships must be above the age of 18. If either partner is below 21, the registrar is obligated to inform their parents or guardians.

The bill further specifies that children born out of such relationships will be considered legitimate, and deserted partners will be entitled to maintenance, PTI’s report stated.

Under the proposed legislation, those failing to register their live-in relationship within a month may face imprisonment for up to three months or fines of up to Rs 10,000.

“Anyone staying in a live-in relationship for more than a month without getting it registered will face punishment with an imprisonment up to three months or a fine of up to Rs 10,000 or both,” the bill says, as per PTI.

Moreover, severe penalties, including fines up to Rs 25,000 and imprisonment for up to three months, may be imposed for providing false information regarding the relationship, according to the report.

“A higher fine of up to Rs 25,000 apart from an imprisonment of up to three months can be imposed on any person who provides false information in his or her statement on a live-in relationship to the registrar. Residents of Uttarakhand staying in a live-in relationship outside the territory of the state may submit a statement on their relationship under sub-section (1) of section 381 to the registrar within whose jurisdiction they might be living,” the bill mentions, as per the report.

The bill also addresses the termination of live-in relationships, allowing both partners to terminate the arrangement by submitting a prescribed statement to the registrar. However, live-in relationships involving a minor will not be registered, and instances where consent was obtained through coercion or fraud will also be ineligible for registration.

Furthermore, partners deserted in a live-in relationship can seek maintenance from their former partners through competent courts. Failure to register the relationship within a specified timeframe after receiving notice from the registrar could result in imprisonment for up to six months or fines of up to Rs 25,000.

‘BJP Has Now Stepped Into Your Bedrooms’: Oppn Slams UCC Provision

The proposed provisions of Uttarakhand’s Uniform Civil Code bill have sparked strong reactions with criticisms levied against the government’s intrusion into personal relationships.

Reacting to the bill, TMC MP Saket Gokhale expressed concern, highlighting the potential implications of the legislation. He stated, “This shocking provision also means that a man & a woman merely living together will have to prove that they’re NOT in a live-in relationship in case some vigilante or lunatic files a complaint. BJP has now stepped into your bedrooms & can investigate you whenever it feels like.”

Similarly, Congress leader Shama Mohamed condemned the bill as a “shameful attempt” by the BJP government to interfere in the private lives of consenting adults. In a social media post, she asserted, “The Uniform Civil Code Bill tabled in Uttarakhand Assembly mandates registration of ‘live-in relationships’ within a period of 1 month from the date of entering into the relationship, or else they will be jailed for 6 months. This is a shameful attempt by the BJP government to barge into the personal life of consenting adults. The state has no business policing the private life of citizens!”

The proposed legislation seeks to establish a common law governing marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance for all citizens of Uttarakhand, excluding Scheduled Tribes. The bill’s provisions are currently under debate in the House, with discussions set to resume on Wednesday.

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