Assam cabinet approves to repeal Muslim marriages, divorce registration Act | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Assam cabinet approves to repeal Muslim marriages, divorce registration Act

Feb 24, 2024 05:13 AM IST

“We had noticed that this present legislation was being used to register marriages of boys and girls under the permissible age,” said tourism minister.

The Assam cabinet on Friday decided to repeal an 89-year-old legislation involving the registration of marriages and divorces by Muslims residing in the state.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, (File)
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, (File)

“Our chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had already announced that Assam would be implementing a uniform civil code. Today we have taken a very important decision in that journey by deciding to repeal the Assam Moslem Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, 1935,” informed tourism minister Jayanta Malla Baruah.

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The Act provided for voluntary registration of Muslim marriages and divorces and allowed the government to provide a licence to a Muslim person authorizing him to register Muslim marriages and divorces on applications for such registration.

“Today’s development means that it won’t be possible to register Muslim marriages and divorces under this legislation any more in Assam. We already have a Special Marriage Act, and we want all marriages to be registered under provisions of that,” Baruah stated.

He informed that Assam has at present 94 authorized persons who could register Muslim marriages and divorces. But with the cabinet decision, their authority would cease to exist after the issuance of directions for the same by district authorities.

Also read: What will change after repeal of Assam Muslim marriage, divorce registration law?

“Since these persons were earning a livelihood by registering marriages and divorces, the state cabinet has decided to provide them with a one-time compensation of 2 lakhs each,” said Baruah.

He said that apart from moving a step closer towards a uniform civil code, the cabinet felt it was necessary to repeal the Act, which was old and was in operation since British days and didn’t match with today’s societal norms.

“We had noticed that this present legislation was being used to register marriages of boys and girls under the permissible age. We think that today’s move will be a big step in curbing such child marriages,” the minister said.

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On February 12, CM Sarma stated that his government is planning to bring robust legislation banning polygamy and implementing of uniform civil code (UCC) in the state.

“We were following (legislation to ban) polygamy, but Uttarakhand has passed the UCC (Bill). We are now working on aligning both (issues) so that we can prepare robust legislation. We are working on that,” Sarma had said.

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He had mentioned that an expert committee would see how to align both polygamy and UCC in the same legislation.

The government had planned to table a Bill banning polygamy in the ongoing budget session of the assembly, but it hasn’t happened yet.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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