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DNA Exclusive: Is Assams Move To Repeal Muslim Marriage Act The Beginning Of UCC?

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New Delhi: Assam Cabinet on Friday repealed the Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act, 1935. The government decided to repeal the to prohibit child marriage in the state.

In today’s DNA, Zee News anchor Sourabh Raaj Jain analysed the effect of repeal of the Assam Muslim Marriages and Divorces Registration Act, 1935 and the transitioning of Muslim marriages under the Special Marriage Act.

In Assam, Muslim marriages will no longer be registered under the Muslim Marriage Act; instead, they will be conducted under the Special Marriage Act. This decision by the Assam government has sparked political controversy, with the government claiming it will help combat child marriage, while Muslim leaders argue it is unjust and goes against their religious beliefs.

Decoding Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act, 1935

Previously, marriage registration was conducted under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935. Under this act, the age of the individuals getting married was not a consideration. Additionally, both the bride and groom were required to be of the same religion for the marriage to be legally recognized. If someone wished to marry a person of a different religion, they were obligated to convert their partner’s religion.

The Assam government’s rationale behind this decision is rooted in their belief that the Muslim Marriage Act inadvertently promotes child marriage and creates difficulties for girls.

Understanding the Impact of Muslims Marrying Under the Special Marriage Act:

Previously, there was no separate registration of Muslim marriages or divorces under the Special Marriage Act.

Muslim marriages, which were previously not conducted under the Special Marriage Act, will now be regulated by it.

Under the Muslim Marriage Act, the age of marriage was not a determining factor, but under the Special Marriage Act, the boy must be at least 21 years old, and the girl must be at least 18 years old.

All 94 Muslim Registrars, known as Government Qazis, who facilitated registration of Muslim Nikah cases under the Muslim Marriage Act, have been removed, with each receiving compensation of Rs 2 lakh.

Unlike the Muslim Marriage Act, polygamy and child marriage are not permissible under the Special Marriage Act.

The responsibility of registering Muslim marriages now lies with the District Commissioner and District Registrar, in addition to other designated authorities.





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