Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Announces Plan To Introduce Legislation Against Polygamy

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Posted in Assam, Featured, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Guwahati, August 07, 2023: Following the submission of an expert committee’s report on the state’s ability to frame laws to abolish polygamy, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma declared on Sunday that a legislation addressing the issue will be introduced within this financial year.

During a press conference, the Chief Minister revealed that the expert committee unanimously agreed on the state’s competence to enact laws against polygamy. The only difference in their recommendation was that the final assent on the Bill should come from the President, rather than the Governor who typically gives the final signature for other state laws.

When questioned about Assam’s intentions to implement such a law, Chief Minister Sarma affirmed that the legislation will indeed be introduced within the current financial year.

Earlier in the day, the expert committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Rumi Kumari Phukan and consisting of other legal experts, handed over the report to the Chief Minister. Sarma shared pictures of the committee presenting the report on Twitter, expressing Assam’s commitment to empowering women, irrespective of caste, creed, or religion.

The committee was originally given a 60-day deadline to submit its report, tasked with examining the legislative competence of the state to end polygamy and scrutinizing provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act, 1937, and Article 25 of the Constitution in relation to the Directive Principles of State Policy for a Uniform Civil Code.

Chief Minister Sarma had previously conveyed the state government’s support for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and its desire to immediately ban polygamy in Assam. While the matter of UCC lies with Parliament, the state can proceed with the President’s assent. Sarma mentioned the intention to introduce the Bill in the upcoming Assembly session in September, with a fallback plan for the January session if necessary.

The opposition parties criticized the government’s decision, considering it diversionary and communal, especially during a time when suggestions on the UCC are being received by the Law Commission.

Source: PTI

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