Shillong, July 4: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) wanted the Law Commission to apprise the Centre that the state will not implement the uniform civil code (UCC).
In a letter to the member secretary of the Law Commission, HYC president Robertjune Kharjahrin said, “…we would like to suggest this esteemed Commission to recommend to the Government of India not to implement the UCC in Meghalaya as the same will dilute and replace the prevailing custom and usages, it will dilute the provisions under the Sixth Schedule and the powers of the Autonomous District Councils, it will violate the Federal structures of India and also it will interferes into the religious affairs.
“Further, we suggest that this esteemed Commission should recommend that the Government of India should help the Autonomous District Councils in Meghalaya by financially assisting them besides giving guidance to codify and legislate the different personal laws,” he said.
Kharjahrin said the ADCs in Meghalaya under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India are mandated to make laws on marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession of property, social customs which include lineage, adoption, unique clan administration and other personal laws. For more than 72 years of the existence of these ADCs in Meghalaya, upto a certain extent have done their duties to protect and preserve the unique customs and traditions of the Khasi-Jaintia/Hynniewtrep People on matter relating to personal laws.
The indigenous people of the state still have the confidence on these ADCs and they still want to govern themselves by customs and traditions on various personal laws. The indigenous people of Meghalaya oppose any move by the concerned authority to dilute the customs and usage prevailing in these Hills since time immemorial, he said.
“Hence, we can safely say that the indigenous people of Meghalaya are vehemently opposed to any concept of bringing in a Uniform Civil Code as the same will not only dilute but replace the very prevailing customs in the State,” he said.
Kharjahrin said the personal laws like marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, maintenance, guardianship, co-parenting, etc are also the powers of the state government.
“The State of Meghalaya has already enacted various laws on marriage, inheritance, etc and these has been implemented and accepted by the people of the State. If the Parliament of India bring the UCC, it will violate the federal structure as envisaged in the Constitution which is uncalled for.”
He said India is a nation with multi religions and added that the Constitution of India has guaranteed the protection of each and every religion and its unique norms. Meghalaya is a State where majority are Christians and there are also people who are practising the traditional faiths alongwith other religions.
“We are of the opinion that UCC will dilute the religious norms on matters like marriage, divorce, etc and we feel that it is the Constitutional duty of any Government to respect each and every Religion by allowing these religions to follow their own unique norms and not by replacing these norms with a uniform Civil Code,” he said.
According to Kharjahrin, Indian Constitution promotes multi customs, multi religions and multi languages. “Its is our view that policies like UCC will only create chaos and need to be rejected in toto. Further, the 21st Law Commission of India after proper study and analysis on reforms of Family Law in India has submitted its Report on August, 2018 and it has recommended that Uniform Civil Code is neither necessary nor desirable, he said.