Opposition Leader Criticizes Repeal of Muslim Marriage Act in Assam

Guwahati, 24th February: Debabrata Saikia, the Leader of Opposition in Assam and a senior Congress leader, voiced strong concerns over the recent decision to repeal the Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act. Saikia warned that abolishing the Act could potentially lead to a surge in illegal marriages across the state.

Saikia highlighted the implications of dismantling the registration system provided by the Act, suggesting that without it, illegal marriages might go unnoticed, exacerbating the issue. He stressed the importance of retaining the Act and improving it rather than completely abolishing it.

Expressing his views on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), Saikia emphasized the need for voluntary acceptance by the people, cautioning against its enforcement by the government. He urged authorities to consider community sentiments and traditions before implementing such changes.

The Assam cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, made the decision to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriage & Divorce Registration Act 1935. Cabinet minister Jayanta Mallabarua described it as a step towards implementing the UCC in the state. Under the new arrangement, all matters related to Muslim marriages and divorces will be governed by the Special Marriages Act, with registration responsibilities transferred to District Commissioners and District Registrars.

Mallabarua also announced the discharge of 94 Muslim registrars previously operating under the Act, providing them with a one-time compensation of Rs 2 lakh each. He underscored that this decision aims to combat child marriage in Assam.

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