What if Assamese Muslim marriage and divorce registration laws are repealed?

NewsWhat if Assamese Muslim marriage and divorce registration laws are repealed?

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Currently, Muslim unions and separations can be voluntarily registered under the law. The Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces the Application Act, 1935, was approved for repeal by the Assam Cabinet on Friday. The action will assist the government in preventing child marriages in the state, according to a post made on X by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. 

The historic Assam Muslim Marriages and Separation Registration Act was repealed by the Assam cabinet on February 23. The provisions of this act permitted marriage registration even in cases where the bride and groom had not attained the legally mandated ages 18 and 21, respectively. According to him, this action is a critical step closer to outlawing child marriages in Assam. The government explained its decision to repeal the act by stating that it is not required by law to register marriages or divorces. It further stated that there is a great deal of room for norm non-compliance due to the informal registration machinery.

According to the Act’s provisions, intended individuals under the ages of 21 (for men) and 18 (for women) may still have their marriages registered, and state governments hardly ever monitor the Act’s implementation.

According to Assam minister Jayanta Malla Baruah, the action is a step toward the state’s adoption of the Uniform Civil Code.

Currently, Muslim marriages and divorces can be voluntarily registered under the law. Additionally, it gave the government permission to grant Muslim individuals licenses to register these kinds of unions and dissolutions. These people won’t be allowed to register marriages and divorces once the law is repealed. The Assam government announced that district commissioners and district registrars will assume custody of the registration records kept by the 94 Muslim Registrars following the law’s repeal. 

After the Act is repealed, the government will give each Muslim Marriage Registrar Rs 2 lakh as a one-time payment towards their rehabilitation. According to Baruah, the Assam government desires that all of these unions be legally recognized through the Special Marriage Act. He said that underage boys’ and girls’ marriages were being registered under the Act.

The UCC pledged by the government

The primary commitment that Himanta Biswa Sarma made to the people of Assam when he was appointed chief minister of the state was the establishment of the UCC. He declared earlier this month that polygamy would be outlawed in the state.

He has stated repeatedly that Assam will be the third state to adopt the Uniform Civil Code, following Gujarat and Uttarakhand.

The Uniform Civil Code bill was approved by the Uttarakhand government before this month during its assembly. The bill replaces a number of religious personal laws with common laws that apply to people of all religions and govern marriage, and govern marriage, divorce, and inheritance. Sarma stated in January that Assam’s UCC bill is in line with the bills introduced by Gujarat and Uttarakhand.

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