With a section of the tribal population up in arms against the government’s move seeking opinion of the Law Commission on possibility of having the Uniform Civil Code, the panel said it was “open” to objections and suggestions from the community. “The tribal community should make representation before the Commission. We would also like to know their stand,” Law Commission Chairman B S Chauhan told PTI.
He said the Commission considers tribals as a stakeholder in the entire exercise in which representations are coming from various communities. “The tribals can also participate and debate in the entire exercise,” the former apex court judge said.
The opposition from a section of the tribal community assumed importance as a group has also moved the Supreme Court contending that the government was making an attempt to impose the UCC which will be against their ethos, customs and religious practices. The Rashtriya Adivasi Ekta Parishad, a group that claims to work for protecting Adivasi interests, has filed a petition in the apex court seeking protection of their customs and religious practices, including their right to practice polygamy and polyandry.
Further, it has contended that any attempt to impose the Uniform Civil Code would have adversely impact on their distinct customs, culture and heritage. The petition in the apex court claimed the Adivasis (tribals) had their own personal laws and do not come in the category of Hindus as they worshipped nature instead of idols and performed burial of the dead.
The marriage ceremonies of tribals are also different from that of Hindus, it submitted.
“In case of Uniform Civil Code, the Adivasis’ right to perform marriage, worship, last rites and other ceremonies would be abrogated,” the NGO said. The petition is likely to come for hearing when the apex court will take up a batch of matters relating to the validity of triple talaq and polygamy in the Muslim community.