The Assam government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is poised to introduce a bill in the state assembly by December to outlaw polygamy. Sarma recently revealed that the bill’s finalization will take approximately 45 days. This decision follows the reception of 149 suggestions from the public regarding the proposed legislation to prohibit the practice of marrying multiple spouses.
According to Sarma, of the 149 received suggestions, 146 have expressed support for the bill, indicating substantial public backing. In contrast, three organizations have expressed opposition to the proposed legislation. The government is now set to advance to the next phase, which entails finalizing the bill over the next 45 days.
Addressing the matter of “Love Jihad,” Sarma stated that certain provisions would be added to the bill to address this issue. Love Jihad is a term used in certain quarters to describe an alleged campaign where Muslim men are accused of pretending to be in love with non-Muslim women to convert them to Islam.
The process of banning polygamy in Assam began when the state government issued a public notice on August 21, seeking public opinions on the matter. The notice requested citizens to submit their views by August 30 via email or post. Additionally, an expert committee was established to assess whether the state legislature had the authority to enact such a law, and the committee confirmed that it was indeed within the state’s legislative competence.
Sarma also touched upon the issue of withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state. The AFSPA is a controversial act that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas.” The chief minister explained that a decision regarding AFSPA’s withdrawal would require deliberation with the Union government, and discussions on this matter are planned for the coming month.
Sources By Agencies