Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

According to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam would introduce legislation to end polygamy.
An expert group unanimously concluded, according to Himanta Biswa Sarma, that the state can write laws to abolish polygamy.

According to the Press Trust of India: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday, hours after an expert committee submitted its findings on the state’s competence to create legislation to abolish polygamy, a Bill on the matter will be introduced this fiscal year. He told a press conference here that the expert committee, which had delivered its report earlier in the day, had unanimously agreed that the state could create legislation to outlaw polygamy.

The study unanimously stated that the state government had the authority to enact polygamy legislation. He went on to say that the state government had the authority to pass such legislation.

The panel indicated, according to Sarma, that the Bill’s assent must be delivered by the President rather than the Governor.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

According to the committee, there is no mention of age in Muslim law. So, to avoid a conflict with the POCSO Act, we can introduce state law with the same provisions as the POCSO,” he noted.
When asked if Assam would pass legislation to outlaw polygamy, the chief minister said yes.
“The law will undoubtedly come within this fiscal year,” he continued.

Sarma stated that it will be decided whether the Bill in question will be introduced at the upcoming September session, December session, or Budget session of the Assembly.

“We will have to give the MLAs time to debate this bill because such a law has never been introduced in Assam.” “We will decide in our Cabinet meeting,” he continued.

The chief minister, on the other hand, stated that if the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is implemented before the state’s planned polygamy law, the situation will be different.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

When asked if the government will listen to civil society organizations, he responded, “There isn’t much need to listen to groups and social organizations because we have a pulse that Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and all other communities have welcomed this initiative.”There is no reason to object to it. However, if the Cabinet decides to solicit input from all stakeholders, there will be no difficulty since we have time for that. There aren’t many people who oppose this step.”

The opposition parties have previously lambasted the government’s decision to enact a polygamy law as diversionary and communal, especially at a time when the Law Commission is receiving ideas on the UCC.
Earlier in the day, the Assam government’s expert committee constituted to investigate the state legislature’s competence to draft a law to abolish polygamy delivered its report to the chief minister.
On Twitter, Sarma posted photos of committee members handing him the report and the document’s cover.

“The expert committee submitted its report today.” Assam is now one step closer to fostering a positive environment for women’s empowerment, regardless of caste, creed, or religion,” he added.
Sarma announced the formation of a four-member expert group on May 12, led by Justice (Retd) Rumi Kumari Phukan.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

The committee also includes the state’s Advocate General Devajit Saikia, Senior Additional Advocate General Nalin Kohli, and Senior Advocate Nekibur Zaman, in addition to Phukan.

The Assam government extended the committee’s tenure by one month on July 18, from July 13 to August 12.

The committee was initially given a 60-day deadline to submit its report. It was charged with investigating the provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act, 1937, as well as Article 25 of the Constitution in respect to the Directive Principles of State Policy for a Uniform Civil Code.

According to Sarma, the Assam government informed the relevant authorities on July 13 that it backed the UCC and intended to abolish polygamy in the state immediately.

The UCC is a subject for Parliament to resolve, but the state can also make a decision with the President’s approval, he noted.

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