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Business News/ News / India/  Assam repeals Muslim Marriage Act; ‘paves way for Uniform Civil Code’
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Assam repeals Muslim Marriage Act; ‘paves way for Uniform Civil Code’

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma posted on X and said that this move marks another significant step towards prohibiting child marriages in Assam.

A 'child bride' with her child, amid Assam government's statewide crackdown on child marriages, in Morigaon district. (PTI)Premium
A 'child bride' with her child, amid Assam government's statewide crackdown on child marriages, in Morigaon district. (PTI)

The Assam Cabinet took a significant stride in prohibiting child marriage within the state by repealing the 'Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act, 1935.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the Act as ‘age-old’, and said on X that this decision signals a significant advancement in the efforts to prohibit child marriages in Assam.

"On February 23, the Assam cabinet made a significant decision to repeal the age-old Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act. This act contained provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom had not reached the legal ages of 18 and 21, as required by law. This move marks another significant step towards prohibiting child marriages in Assam," Assam CM said.

The state government mentioned after repealing the law, “District Commissioners and District Registrars will be authorised to take custody of registration records currently in the custody of 94 Muslim Marriage Registrars on the repeal of the legislation under the overall supervision, guidance and control of the Inspector General of Registration."

According to the 2011 Census, Muslims make up 34% of Assam's population, totalling 1.06 crore individuals out of a total population of 3.12 crore.

The Assam Government has announced a one-time compensation of 2 lakh for Muslim Marriage Registrars to support their rehabilitation following the repeal of the Act.

As reported by the Indian Express citing, state Minister Jayanta Malla Baruah said it was “a colonial act and a very important step in the journey towards a Uniform Civil Code in the state."

Additionally, the government cited the obsolescence of the pre-Independence British-era law, which was originally formulated for the Province of Assam, as the primary reason for its repeal.

“Registration of marriages and divorces is not mandatory as per the Act and the machinery of registration is informal, leaving a lot of scope for non-compliance of extant norms," the state government noted.

Meanwhile, as per provisions of the Act, “there remains scope for registering marriages of intended persons below 21 years (for males) and 18 years (for females) and there is hardly any monitoring for implementation of the Act," the state government said. 

(With inputs from ANI)

 

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Published: 24 Feb 2024, 07:55 AM IST
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