HomeUncategorizedUCC on the cards as Assam scraps age-old Muslim Registration Law

UCC on the cards as Assam scraps age-old Muslim Registration Law

While the Assam Government is also working on another legal milestone to ban polygamy in the State and make it a criminal offence, the opposition took no time to criticize the government’s decision calling such moves 'communal' and targeted towards a particular community.

In a distinctly foreseeable move towards adoption of UCC, the Assam Government has decided to repeal ‘The Muslim and Divorce Registration Act, 1935' bolstering steps towards mandatory registration of marriages under the Special Marriage Act. The development comes weeks after the Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma declared his intention to invoke UCC in the State after the -led Uttarakhand Government got it pushed through in the State Assembly.

Taking firm stand on his decision, Dr. Sarma asserted that the move will prove to be a game changer to eradicate the social menace of child marriage in the State as the 1935 Act had provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom had not reached the legal ages of 18 and 21, as required by law.

Under the said Act registration of marriages was not mandatory and was done by Muslim registrars for couples who voluntarily wanted to register their marriage. The scrapping of the Act also paves the way for a formalised registration procedure which is viewed as crucial for checking non-compliance with the existing legal norms.

According to sources ,there are 94 Muslim registrars currently operating in the State and that the State Government has planned to compensate them with a one time of Rs.2lakhs while the district commissioners and district registrars will have the “custody of registration records”.

While the Assam Government is also working on another legal milestone to ban polygamy in the State and make it a criminal offence, the opposition took no time to criticize the government's decision calling such moves ‘communal' and targeted towards a particular community. Condemning the decision ,the Assam wing of the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind said that the government took an abrupt decision without informing the minority organization of the details of such decision and that the organization will take necessary legal action against such move. The Minority leaders also expressed concern that abolition of Quazis will only lead to more chaos in the religious procedural formalities prompting more unreported child marriages. Expressing strong resentment towards the government, Congress leaders in the State have vehemently criticised Dr. Sarma's move, denouncing it as an “anti-Muslim measure”.Congress MLA Abdur Rashid Mandal called the Himanta Biswa Sarma government “an absolutely anti-Muslim government” and stated , “they were trying to show the Hindu people that they are favouring them while depriving the Muslims”.

Meanwhile, there are strong speculations that Assam is readying a Bill on UCC and is actively studying the Uttarakhand model to come up with a concrete full proof legal regime. With the ongoing session State assembly expected to get over on Monday there are many other landmark propositions that the government is anticipated to come up with . In a nutshell ,UCC seems to be on the cards as the State Government is poised to on polygamy next.

Kangkana Goswami Bharadwaz
Kangkana Goswami Bharadwazhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Kangkana Goswami Bharadwaz is a regular columnist, currently serving as a faculty of law in National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam, also engaged as a research scholar in the field of law and juridical science and has many research papers to her credit in national and International journals, currently serving also as a media panellist of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Assam Pradesh
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