Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Assam government repeals Muslim Marriage Act

The Assam Cabinet on Friday approved repeal of 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 23.22024, the Assam cabinet made a significant decision to repeal the age-old Assam Muslim Marriages & 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,” the chief minister who is infamous for his anti-Muslim rhetorics and policies wrote on X.

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.”

“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.

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


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