Updated February 24th, 2024 at 01:06 IST

In Bid To Curb Child Marriage, Assam Cabinet Scraps Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act

The Assam Cabinet approved the scrapping of Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act during the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
Assam Cabinet scraps Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act | Image:Facebook/ Himanta Biswa Sarma
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Dispur: The Assam Cabinet on Friday approved the scrapping of Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1935 during the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The decision was taken by the cabinet, after reviewing the legal provision of the scrapping of the law, taking one step ahead in implementing the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state after Uttarakhand.

This significant decision has come up less than a month after Uttarakhand passed legislation on the Uniform Civil Code, becoming the first state in Independent India to take the historic step. The Assam Cabinet’s decision is being considered as its first step towards a similar law in the state.

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All the marriage related matters will now be settled through Special Marriages Act

After the Cabinet’s decision, Minister Jayanta Mallabarua, while addressing the media personnel, termed that the decision is a step towards achieving the UCC in the state after Uttarakhand. He stated that now all matters pertaining to Muslim marriages and divorces would be taken care of under the Special Marriages Act.

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Mallabarua added, "The chief minister had recently said that we are moving towards Uniform Civil Code and in this journey, an important decision has been taken today. The Assam Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Act 1935, under which 94 Muslim registrars are still functioning, has been repealed today. Now under this act no Muslim marriage or divorce would be registered and since we have a Special Marriages Act, hence we want all matters settled through that particular Act."

The Cabinet minister, however, announced that the 94 Muslim registrars, who were functioning under the Act, would be discharged from their duties with a one-time compensation of Rs 2 lakh per person.

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CM Himanta Biswa Sarma calls it significant step towards prohibiting child marriages

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to X, saying, "On 23.2.2024, 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."

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He said that this step is a shot against the child marriage in the state. 
 

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(With inputs from Anirudh Bhakat)

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Published February 23rd, 2024 at 22:35 IST