Assam repeals Muslim Marriage Act

Assam repeals Muslim Marriage Act

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Guwahati, February 24 (IANS) In a major development, the long-standing Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935 was repealed by the state government on Friday.

The decision was taken during a state cabinet meeting on Friday night chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

It comes three weeks after Uttarakhand became the first state to enact Uniform Civil Code legislation.

Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah referred to it as a major step toward a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

He emphasized that going forward, all matters pertaining to Muslim marriages and divorces would be governed by the Special Marriages Act.

"The District Commissioner and the District Registrar will now be in charge of registering Muslim marriages and divorces under the new structure. The 94 Muslim registrars who were employed under the revoked Act will also be released from their positions and given a lump sum payment of Rs 2 lakh," he told reporters.

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.