The Modi government is not against tribal customary laws but also favours a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Union Minister P.P. Chaudhary said on Tuesday."The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)-led government is not against traditional or customary laws of the tribals though it also supports the UCC," the Minister of State for IT and Law and Justice said here.
"A Parliamentary Standing Committee has submitted its report on tribal customary laws. The Union government is yet to take a decision on the report," he told reporters.Accompanied by state BJP President Biplab Kumar Deb, the Minister said the Centre was at work to resolve the contentious issues relating to Triple Talaq.The customary laws are prevalent in northeastern states like Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.Tribal communities and local autonomous bodies in the northeastern states, as and when the situation requires, resolve their disputes through local customary laws.
The traditional customary laws allow village and district council bodies to adjudicate most cases involving two tribal parties, groups or individuals.Only the High Court and the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over suits and cases decided by these village and district council bodies.In February, Nagaland witnessed violence after the state government headed by then Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang announced elections to urban civic bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women.Various Naga tribal groups opposed reservation for women, saying it will infringe on their customary laws and also violate Article 371-A of the Constitution that grants special status to Nagaland and guarantees preservation of such laws.The unrelenting fortnight-long agitation forced Zeliang to step down and Naga People's Front supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu to take over as the 17th Chief Minister of the state.