Nagaland Legislative Assembly resolves to exempt state from implementing Uniform Civil Code

Photo: DIPR Nagaland

Newmai News Network

Kohima: Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said today that the Nagaland cabinet had discussed and deliberated the issue of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) at length and brought the matter to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly for thorough discussion and deliberation after which a consensus has been arrived to pass a resolution for its exemption in the case of Nagaland by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly. 

It can be noted here that the second session of the 14th Nagaland Legislative Assembly commenced at the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Secretariat in Kohima today.

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Neiphiu Rio termed the UCC as a single law which deals with all matters relating to marriage and divorce succession and inheritance, adoption including personal laws and practices. He also mentioned that the UCC should be exempted for the state of Nagaland on the ground of BEFR Act 1873, 9-Point Agreement 1947 and 16-Point Agreement 1960. 

Earlier, initiating the discussion on ‘matters of urgent public importance’ pertaining to Uniform Civil Code, Leader of Naga People’s front (NPF) Legislature Party, Kuzholuzo Nienu thanked the Leader of the House and the members of the 14th NLA for coming all out against the UCC. He opined that there are two important issues surrounding UCC- rights and equality of citizens on the one hand and on the other, national integration. He said that any attempt to force it on the diverse communities across the country will be futile and counterproductive and that it will be a direct threat to the fabric of a communitarian tribal ethos and values.

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He added that “imposing” Uniform Civil Code will be akin to betraying the hope and trust of the minorities, especially the tribal communities, for whom constitutional provisions, like article 371(A), has been provided to protect and promote the customs, values and practices. Though Amit Shah, the Home Minister, had given verbal assurance to the Nagaland Chief Minister and his cabinet ministers, Nienu urged the Nagaland legislators not to rely on verbal assurances, and called upon the assembly to pass a resolution exempting the bill in toto.

Minister, Power and Parliamentary Affairs, KG Kenye stated that Article 371(A) was left unused for the past few decades and has been in the lime light only a few years back. He said that Article 371(A) of the Constitution safeguards social and religious practices and provides constitutional guarantee.

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Taking part in the discussion, Dr. Sukhato called upon the members of the assembly to protect and defend the State and its resources. He also urged the members to support the government so that the Uniform Civil Code does not apply to the state of Nagaland.

Advisor, Imkong L. Imchen, who engaged in the discussion highlighted that the implementation of the UCC carries implications that could potentially lead to inconvenience for the people. Imkong further noted that the verbal assurance from the Home Minister of India, exempting Nagaland from the UCC, was greatly appreciated. Also, he commended the timely decision taken by the Nagaland cabinet concerning this issue.

Nuklutoshi, participating in the discussion regarding the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), expressed concerns about its potential impact. He contended that the UCC could be seen as a violation of the 16-Point Agreement that led to the creation of the state. Additionally, he asserted that the UCC might infringe upon Article 371(A). Nuklutoshi emphasized the importance of the role of people’s representatives in advocating for the interests and concerns of the public. He stressed that as representatives, they should vigorously defend the voices and rights of the people they serve.

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Achumbemo Kikon said that the UCC governs matters including marriage and divorce, succession and inheritance, adoption including other personal laws, though it is not enforceable in the court of laws. Therefore, UCC should not come to our land for whosoever reasons, he stated.  Dr Neisato Mero, said the idea of uniform civil code is one nation one vote. It is also a threat to our social, religion, customary laws, and direct indulgence to our personal laws besides contradicting  Article 371 (A), he added. Jwenga Seb, said UCC would have negative implications on our personal laws and traditions though its protection is clearly incorporated in the constitution of India. Therefore, UCC be exempted for the state of Nagaland by passing a resolution in the NLA.

Advisor, Labour, Employment Skill Development and Excise, Moatoshi Longkumer, who participated in the debate, said that the state government should oppose the introduction of UCC as it not only overshadows the tenet of regulation but it also threatens the pluralistic society. As such, he suggested that a resolution be passed to oppose the introduction of UCC by the NLA. Advisor, KT Sukhalu and MLA, Er Picto also took part in the discussion and in support for exemption of the Uniform Civil Code.

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