DIMAPUR, Oct 14 - Nagaland Bar Association (NBA) has appealed to the Prime Minister to retain the provisions of Article 371 A in case the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is introduced throughout the country. The Bar Association made the appeal following reports that the Central Government has entrusted the Law Commission to examine the feasibility to introduce the UCC all over the country,
In a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister, NBA president Tali Ao and secretary V Hukavi Zhimomi said they were “highly grateful” to the Parliament of India for incorporation of Article 371 A into the Constitution wherein the social customs and practices of the Nagas were protected.
The Association pointed out that the personal and social life of the Nagas was mostly governed by the un-codified customary practices and usages since time immemorial. They said there was no occasion in the judicial history wherein any of those traditional customs, practices and usages have been held or struck down as opposed to law. The NBA said the Nagas, therefore, continued to “remain in absolute contention” with the present status as protected under the Constitution.
The Association expressed apprehension that if UCC was introduced covering the entire country, it would cause much hardship and social disorder to the Nagas because the personal and social life of the Nagas were “quite distinct” from the rest of the country.
In the light of the above, the NBA appealed to the Prime Minister that if any such law like UCC was introduced, the provisions of Article 371 A “may be allowed to retain as it stands today.”
In another representation addressed to Union Minister of Law & Justice, the NBA suggested that appointments to the Judiciary required revamping through establishment of Indian Judicial Service for recruitment to the higher judiciary including the apex court. The Association also suggested constitution of National Judicial Commission (NJC) for the purpose to conduct test both written and viva voce for selection of candidates.
It further suggested that recruiting authority or the NJC should consist of retired judges of the Supreme Court on tenure system to be nominated by a committee consisting of members from the executive and the judiciary.