Constitution of India: Article 371-A Clause 1 sub clause (iii) Administration of civil and criminal Justice inviolving decision according to Naga Customary Law.
The issue is, Rape is not unknown to Naga Customary Law, and there are different kinds of punishment for rape according to Naga Customary Practices.
Recently there was a case of Rape and FIR was lodged against the culprits, but the party both the aggrieved party and the accused wants the case to be tried before the Naga Customary Law. Should the court transfer the case to the Naga Customary Court? As the matter is governed by Naga Customary Law?
We have many Courts though there may be very little Jusrice. But main Courts are District Customary Courts and of course the usual courts that prevails ( Judicial Courts) But here our Distict Customary Courts existing all the districts in Nagaland can try all kinds of Customary disputes. And ofcurse murder and Rape etc were decided customarily since time immemorial. The case is pending in the Session Court and the party wants that the case be taken up by the District Customary Court. Both the Courts have concurrent Jurisdiction and the party prefer Customary Courts, where Justice is delivered in a speedy manner.
We have this Rules name and styled and called as the Rules for the Administration of Justice and Police in the Naga Hills District, 1937 (RAJPN), born out of long history of British invasion of Naga Hills, followed by insertion of article 371-A of the Constitution of India reflecting the wisdom of our Naga State craft now known as Nagaland, and ofcourse happily accepted by Indian Leaders under the Leadership of Nehru. Under the said Rules (RAJPN) Civil and Criminal Justice shall be administered by authorities mentioned therein like the District Deputy Commissioner, Addl deputy Commisssioner, Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner, District Customary Courts consisting of about 30 to 40 Dobashis in every District appointed by the Government under their Recruitment Rules, Village authorities and ofcourse any other Officer of the State be it Engineer, Transport Officer, Horticulture Officer etc if appointed by the Government of Nagaland.
Of all the authorities Districct Customary Courts is very important and a powerful Courts in the District.
Those mentioned authorities functions and exercise their Judicial Power side by side with the Judicial heirarchy like District and Session Judge etc, you know that. Though there is a move to seperate Judiciary from the Executive by the Government of Nagaland, it will not be easy to remove those authorities and the prevailing systems. For further information you can contact Mrs. Boruah, Director Gauhati High Court Law Research Institute, Gauhati High Court Building, Gauhati, Assam.