Shillong: The Hynniewtrep Youths’ Council (HYC) on Wednesday urged the Law Commission of India not to implement Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Meghalaya as it will dilute and replace the prevailing custom and usages, and provisions under the Sixth Scheduled of the constitution.
“It (UCC) 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 interfere into the religious affairs,” the Council said.
In its submission to the Law Commission, the HYC suggested the Law Commission that it should recommend that the central government should help the autonomous district councils in Meghalaya by financially assisting them and other aid and guidance to codify and legislate the different personal laws.
Meghalaya is covered by the Sixth Schedule provisions of the constitution.
Under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, Meghalaya has three district councils – the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills.
“The indigenous people of the state still have the confidence in these autonomous district councils and they still want to govern themselves by customs and traditions on various personal laws,” the council said.
Pointing out that personal laws like marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, maintenance, guardianship, co-parenting, etc are also the powers of the state government, the HYC said, Meghalaya has already enacted various laws on marriage, inheritance, etc and these have been implemented and accepted by the people of the State.
“If the Parliament of India brings the UCC, it will violate the federal structure as envisaged in the Constitution which is uncalled for,” it argued.
Noting that India is a Nation with multi religions and the Constitution guarantees the protection of every religion and its unique norms the HYC said, “Meghalaya is a State where the majority are Christian and there are also people who are practising the traditional faiths along with other religions like Hindu, Muslims, etc.
“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,” the HYC said.
Furthermore, the organisation said that since the 21st Law Commission of India in its report in 2018 recommended that UCC is neither necessary nor desirable, the centre should not implement it.