Caste panchayat

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For other uses, see Panchayat (disambiguation).

Caste Panchayats are caste specific juries of elders of that caste on a village or higher level in India. Traditionally, the panchayat was the body that adjudicated in open meetings on disputes involving the caste members. The issues brought before these bodies included disputes involving property, marital relations, breaches of eating, drinking and killing of certain animals (For example, cows) etc. The penalties levied by the Panchayat included monetary fines or in kind, to offer a feast to the caste members or to Brahmins, and temporary or permanent excommunication from the caste. Pilgrimage and self-humiliation were also occasionally imposed. Physical punishment was on occasion levied. In recent times, these issues are heard before a civil or criminal court rather than by the caste panchayat. ,[1][2] Nevertheless, these bodies still exist and the Panch (Jury) do exert a leadership role within their respective groups.,[3] ,[4] ,[5][6]