On Sunday, when the expert committee submitted its reports on the legislative assembly capacity of the state to make a law to end polygamy. A 4-member committee headed by Justice (Retd.) Smt. Rumi Kumari Phukan informed the Chief Minister of Assam that the state should ban Polygamy through constitutional legislative actions. Just after the reports submitted by the committee, the state CM Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on his Twitter account that within this financial year Assam will ban Polygamy. The other members of the committee are Devajit Saikia, advocate general of Assam; Nalin Kohli, senior additional advocate general of Assam; and Nekibur Zaman, a senior advocate of the Gauhati High Court. The committee had a 60 days deadline to submit its reports.
The committee also said that Ban on Polygamy is also a feature of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) that the centre is trying to enact. The committee in complete agreement proposed that the state has a full right to ban Polygamy, and the state government is in full capacity to enact such laws, the committee further added. The committee also identifies that in Muslim law, age is not mentioned. So to remove the conflicts with the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offence) Act, the State can bring legislation with the same provisions in POCSO.
The time to table the bill is not yet decided, the CM informed that “the Cabinet will decide when to introduce the bill in the assembly, whether it is in the September session or in January.” One of the major points in the enactment of the bill is that the final assent on the bill will be given by the President instead of the Governor.
Generally, Polygamy is banned in every religion in India except Muslims, Practising polygamy is a crime under sections 494 and 495 of the Indian Penal Code, but not for Muslims, section 2 of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat), Application Act of 1937 allows them to do so. CM said that “We outlaw the polygamy through harmony, not with any aggressive measures.”