Your que. could be best answered by Legal Anthropologist as Indian customs and traditions are a world to itself.
However refer to a publication by Professor J. D. M. Derrett, in an important article on customary divorces, 'Divorce by caste custom', at 1963 (65) Bombay Law Reporter, Journal section, pp. 161-169, at p. 169 has concluded that 'the law of customary divorces is a world to itself' from where I quoted opening remarks. .
Aslo refer to a leading Indian authority on this subject, (late) Professor Paras Diwan, in a book on Customary law (Chandigarh: Panjab University 1984) for answers.
(Late) Professor Paras Diwan, in the tenth edition of his standard textbook and practitioners' handbook on Modern Hindu law (Allahabad: Allahabad Law Agency 1995), comments in some detail on the relationship of customary and statutory divorces at pp. 162-163. In essence, he confirms that panchayat divorces are an integral part of the Indian matrimonial set-up:
'The customary divorces may still be obtained through the agency of gram panchayat or caste tribunal or caste panchayats, by private act of parties, orally or in writing, or under an agreement, oral or written ........ The Gram-panchayats and caste-panchayats continue to exercise jurisdiction over customary divorces.
The fact that S. 29 (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 specifically allows for the continuation of customary Hindu divorces signifies for me, in this respect, that Indian law purposefully recognises panchayat divorces as a valid form of divorce proceedings. Thus, I would draw a fine distinction between Hindu customary divorces before a panchayat and the so-called 'bare talaq' under Indian Muslim law, which remains unregulated by Indian state law and thus would probably not qualify under the ambit of Family Court Act, 1984 which is a special enactment and any special act coming in forth overrules earlier Acts such as HMA, 1955 !!!
Any takers for above observation :-)
Law in hand for scholarly studies - not raking in recent SC law as your que. revolves first to understand the subject then see its development till recent times hence let us start from its earliest adjudication if it interests you J
How the jurisdiction is exercised and when the courts of law may interfere in their adjudication is well illustrated by re.: Pemabai v. Channoolal. (AIR 1963 MP 57)
Hope yours enlightenment path are paved in by above motion