The Law Commission of India is at an advanced stage of deliberations on the twin issues of simultaneous elections in the country and the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Dr Justice B.S. Chauhan, the current chairman of the commission, told The Sunday Guardian exclusively.

“We are seriously considering the issue of Uniform Civil Code and that of simultaneous elections. Both are at an advanced stage (of deliberations). At this stage it will not be possible to say what the commission will arrive at when the final reports on these two issues are prepared. Revision of personal laws (in the context of UCC) can be recommended or it can be left to the next Law Commission,” said Justice Chauhan, who retired as a Supreme Court judge in July 2014 before becoming the chairman of the Law Commission in March 2016.

The three-year tenure of this Law Commission—the 21st one—will end next month, in August.

According to Justice Chauhan, the commission, which had invited suggestions and inputs from the public on UCC, will not touch the issues that have already been in court or are currently in court.

“We can make an attempt to bring gender justice and equality in all religions (by codifying some part of the law) unless it is an integral part of the religion itself,” he said.

The Law Commission, which had sought inputs from the general public and other stakeholders until 6 May on the issue of UCC has received more than 70,000 submissions, but most of them are related to other topics like triple talaq and nikah halala.

The commission had released a draft white paper in April recommending holding of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, possibly in 2019, suggesting that necessary amendments should be brought in the Constitution to realise this objective.

According to Justice Chauhan, the Law Commission, which is the government’s highest law advisory body, has already submitted 16 reports so far to the government on issues like DNA profiling, betting and gambling, provision of bail, etc.