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Assam Takes Significant Leap Toward UCC by Repealing Muslim Marriage Act

  • Posted on February 24, 2024
  • Politics
  • By Top Stories

Assam's BJP-led government, under Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, repealed the antiquated Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, aiming to curb child marriage. The decision hailed as a significant step towards a Uniform Civil Code, transfers marriage registration duties to district authorities.

Assam Takes Significant Leap Toward UCC by Repealing Muslim Marriage Act Image Source

Assam's Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, spearheaded a monumental decision in the state's legal landscape by repealing the antiquated Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935. This pivotal move, undertaken during a recent state cabinet meeting, represents a significant stride towards establishing a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Assam. The Act, which allowed marriage registration without ensuring that both parties had reached the legal ages of 18 and 21 for women and men respectively, was viewed as an impediment to curbing child marriages prevalent in the state.

Addressing the media, Chief Minister Sarma underscored the importance of the decision, highlighting its implications for eradicating the practice of child marriage. By revoking the outdated Act, the government aims to enforce stricter regulations regarding the legal age requirements for marriage, thereby safeguarding the rights and well-being of minors. This measure aligns with the broader national objective of promoting social equality and justice through the implementation of a uniform legal framework governing civil matters.

Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah echoed the sentiments expressed by the Chief Minister, emphasizing that the repeal of the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act signifies a major step towards realizing the vision of a Uniform Civil Code. Under the new dispensation, the responsibility for registering Muslim marriages and divorces will be transferred to District Commissioners and Registrars. Furthermore, the government has announced the release of 94 Muslim registrars previously employed under the repealed Act, providing them with a lump sum payment of Rs 2 lakh each.

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The decision garnered widespread acclaim for its potential to address the pervasive issue of child marriage, which has been a longstanding concern in Assam and across India. By enacting stringent measures to uphold the legal age requirements for marriage, the government aims to combat the social and economic repercussions associated with early unions, including adverse effects on health, education, and gender equality.

The Assam government's initiative comes on the heels of Uttarakhand's historic move to enact the Uniform Civil Code, marking a significant milestone in the nation's legal evolution. With Assam now joining the ranks of states advocating for uniformity in civil laws, there is renewed hope for a more equitable and progressive society, where every individual's rights and dignity are protected under a unified legal framework.

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