MUSLIM MARRIAGE ACT Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     26th February 2024        

Context: Assam has recently decided to repeal the Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935, as announced following a Cabinet meeting.

What is the background for the Assam Cabinet’s decision?

  • Uttarakhand's UCC Implementation: Uttarakhand has implemented a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), distinguishing it from other states.

oMuslims constitute 13.95 per cent of Uttarakhand's population.

  • Demographic Composition: In Assam, Muslims represent a significant proportion, accounting for approximately 34 per cent according to the 2011 Census.
  • Background of Assam's Muslims: A majority of Assam's Muslim population is of Bengali-origin.
  • Concerns Over Demographic Impact: One of the central concerns in Assam is the perceived impact of migration on its demographic makeup.

Assam Muslim Marriage and Divorce Registration Act of 1935

  • About: The Act, established in 1935, outlines the procedures for registering Muslim marriages and divorces.
  • Amendment of 2010: In 2010, an amendment to the Act substituted the term 'voluntary' with 'compulsory', mandating the registration of Muslim marriages and divorces in Assam.
  • Licensing Authority: The Act authorizes the state to grant licenses to individuals who are Muslim, designating Muslim registrars as public servants to register marriages and divorces.
  • Process for Marriage and Divorce Applications: The legislation delineates the procedures for submitting marriage and divorce applications to the registrar, along with the subsequent processes for their registration.
  • Alignment with Muslim Personal Law: Crucially, the Act is designed to be consistent with Muslim personal law, governing matters related to marriage and divorce within the Muslim community.
  • Assam Government's Rationale for Repealing: Assam Chief Minister justifies the repeal as a measure to combat child marriages, citing provisions in the Act that permit marriage registration even if the individuals involved are below the legal marriageable age.