APSCW appeals to President to review bill

Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) has appealed to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to review the Arunachal Pradesh Bill for Protection of Customary Laws and Social Practices of 1994, which is awaiting presidential assent for the last 18 years.

APSCW Chairperson Gumri Ringu in a recent memorandum to Patil said, the state government had introduced a Bill on protection of customary laws and social practices prevalent in Arunachal Pradesh in 1994, passed it in the Assembly and the same was sent to the President for assent. This “development” comes at a time when various women’s organisations, including Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society, were demanding the codification of customary laws with special emphasis on protecting the rights of women and children. The memorandum said customary laws and social practices are two important aspects. On one hand, are social evil practices such as child marriage, forced marriage and polygamy, which need to be stopped as these are affecting the lives of women and children. On the other side, there are good practices of tribal societies such as rich culture and traditional dresses, customs, faith and beliefs which are worth preserving and protecting for the societies and future generations.

Moreover, as per the CSS (conduct) rules, government employees, who undertake not to marry more than one husband/wife in their service life, often are found flouting violating rules by marrying more than one wife on the pretext of customary laws and social practices in Arunachal Pradesh, the memorandum added. (PTI)

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