Assam on way to Uniform Civil Code, repeals 1935 Muslim Marriage Act

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma interacts with media person regarding the incident of boat sinking near Nimati Ghat, in Guwahati, Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021. Photo: PTI

Guwahati: The Assam government made a significant move on Friday as it repealed the long-standing Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935 during a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The decision, coming three weeks after Uttarakhand's implementation of Uniform Civil Code legislation, marks a shift towards uniformity in civil laws.

Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah hailed it as a significant step towards a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), stating that all matters concerning Muslim marriages and divorces would now fall under the purview of the Special Marriages Act. Mallabarua explained that under the new structure, District Commissioners and District Registrars would handle the registration of Muslim marriages and divorces. Additionally, the 94 Muslim registrars employed under the repealed Act would be relieved from their duties and provided with a lump sum payment of Rs 2 lakh.

Mallabarua also emphasized the decision's wider ramifications, especially in light of the state's efforts to prohibit child marriage. He pointed out that juvenile marriages had been made easier by the antiquated 1935 Act, which was a holdover from the British Empire.

"The administration intends to address the issue of child marriage, which is defined as the union of individuals under the ages of 18 for women and 21 for men, by repealing this Act," the minister added.
(With IANS inputs.)

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