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Sam Mohan Lal
Usually petty thefts are committed only by juvenile delinquents and in rare instances by mentally insane persons.
Crime related to sex such as adultery, and sexual abnormalities (see for the details under the section on sex) are noticed sometimes. In addition to these, unlawful activities like the involvement of yonger boys in taking intoxicating drinks which are totally prohibited by the social norms of the society are also noticed.
Punishment for different unlawful activities ranges from simple penalty to excommunication of the offender from the community. On such instances of a crime, it is first brought to the notice of the `gvüe’ (head man) by the aggrieved party. He, in turn sends word to his assistants and the time for the village council is fixed sooner or later depending upon the seriousness of the problem. On that appointed time, along with the `gvüe’ the elders of the village assemble in a fixed place, generally under thick shade of a tree near the village. After the careful scrutiny of the versions given by the parties involved, the head man in consultation with his assistants and the elders, give his decision according to the nature of the seriousness of the case without violating the tribal law. In the case of adultery and rape, the ladies are given and equal opportunity to argue their case; but usually some others argue the case on behalf of the affected lady.
Before the final decision of the head man is prnounced, the head man uses his good offices to educate the parties and to bring about a compromise.
For all the offences, in addition to working out compromises between the parties involved, a penalty either in the form of money or materials is imposed on the guilty persons which is remitted to the council. Generally, the fine amount ranges from Rs.5 to Rs.25.
In case of adultery, not only the life partners, but also the concerned third party is also called for questioning. If the husband commits the crime, usually the council accedes to wife’s demand if she asks for a divorce. When the wife commits the crime, she and her partner are allowed to form a new family. If husband accepts her even after the crime, she is warned by the council to mend her ways.
Rape is considered a serious crime and the male offender is asked to marry the girl if the social norms suit the marriage. Otherwise, depending on the conditions, the person is fined and excommunicated. Excommunication was in practice till recently; but now this is not strictly adhered to. Obedience
As a custom, there should be a total obedience to the verdict of the council, at the end by the offenders; but in certain cases some people do disobey and as such may be either excommunicated or totally ignored.






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