The Assam government has decided to form an expert committee to examine whether the state legislature was empowered to prohibit polygamy, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Tuesday.
The committee will examine the provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act, 1937 read with Article 25 of the Constitution of India — the directive principle of state policy, he said.
The committee will engage in extensive discussions with all stakeholders, including legal experts, to arrive at a well-informed decision, Sarma said at a press conference here to mark the second anniversary of his government.
“We are not going towards Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for which a national consensus is required, and the Centre will take the initiative on that,” he said.
“We are announcing our intention to ban polygamy in the state as one component of the UCC,” he added.
Mr Sarma said a decision on the issue will be taken through consensus and “not by force or aggression”.
During the crackdown against child marriage in the state, it was found that many elderly men got married multiple times and their wives were mostly young girls belonging to the poor section of the society, the chief minister said.
“We will further intensify the operation against the perpetrators of child marriage along with the ban on polygamy,” he said.