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Assam Repeals Muslim Marriage Act |

Assam Repeals Muslim Marriage Act

Context

∙ Assam’s government has decided to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, 1935.

About

∙ The Act is in line with the Muslim personal law. It lays down the process for registration of Muslim marriages and divorces. 

∙ The Act authorizes the state to grant licenses to “any person, being a Muslim” to register marriages and divorces, with Muslim registrars deemed to be public servants.

∙ A 2010 amendment replaced the word ‘voluntary’ in the original Act with ‘compulsory’, making registration of Muslim marriages and divorces compulsory in the state of Assam.

Rationale behind repealing the Act

∙ The move is the first step towards implementing Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.

∙ This decision is another significant step towards prohibiting child marriages in Assam.

∙ The Act contains provisions allowing marriage registration even if the bride and groom have not reached the legal marriageable age of 18 and 21, respectively.

What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?– A Uniform Civil Code refers to the provision of one law for the entire country, applicable to all religious communities, in their personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, adoption, etc.– Currently, separate personal laws apply for the members of different major religions.– The Supreme Court in 2019 hailed Goa as a “shining example” of an Indian State which has a functioning UCC. 
Constitutional Provisions– Article 44 contained in part IV of the Constitution says that the state “shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. – Part IV of the Constitution outlines the Directive Principles of State Policy, which, while not enforceable or justiciable in a court of law, are fundamental to the country’s governance.
UCC in India– UCC in Goa: It follows the Portuguese Civil Code of 1867, which means that people of all religions in Goa are subject to the same laws on marriage, divorce, and succession.– The Uttarakhand Assembly passed the Uttarakhand Uniform Civil Code (UCC) Bill 2024, becoming the first state in independent India to implement the Uniform Civil Code. 
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