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Assam Repeals Muslim Marriage Act, Paving the Way for Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah defended the decision, stating that repealing the Act was a major step towards implementing the Uniform Civil Code.

By: Team Pardaphash  Pardaphash Group
Assam Repeals Muslim Marriage Act, Paving the Way for Uniform Civil Code (UCC)

Guwahati, Assam: In a significant development, the Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma-led BJP government in Assam has taken a bold step towards the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by repealing the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act (1935). The decision, announced after a state cabinet meeting on Friday, reflects the government’s commitment to curbing child marriages and standardizing marriage registration procedures.

Ending Age-old Provisions: Repeal of Assam Muslim Marriage Act

The repealed act had provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom had not reached the legal ages of 18 and 21, respectively, as mandated by law. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma emphasized the move as a crucial step in prohibiting child marriages in Assam. Going forward, all matters related to Muslim marriages and divorces will be governed by the Special Marriages Act.

AIUDF’s Criticism and Political Dynamics

While the government’s decision is hailed as a stride towards UCC, Dr Hafiz Rafiqul Islam, an AIUDF MLA, criticized the move, alleging the government’s lack of courage to bring in the UCC directly. He argued that the repeal of the Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act is merely a tactic targeting Muslims ahead of elections.

Cabinet Minister’s Perspective: A Move Towards UCC Implementation

Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah, however, views the decision as a significant step towards the Uniform Civil Code. He outlined that the District Commissioner and the District Registrar would now oversee the registration of Muslim marriages and divorces. The move includes the release of 94 Muslim registrars previously employed under the revoked Act, who will receive a lump sum payment of Rs 2 lakh.

Mallabaruah emphasized the broader implications of the decision, especially in addressing the issue of child marriage. The administration aims to tackle unions involving individuals under the ages of 18 for women and 21 for men through the repeal of the Act.

This move by the Assam government follows in the wake of Uttarakhand recently becoming the first state post-independence to pass the Uniform Civil Code.

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