"Even If Religion Allows...": Assam Says No 2nd Marriage Without Permission

"Even if a religion allows you to have a second marriage, then also you have to seek state government's permission," the Chief Minister said.

The circular was issued by the Assam government on October 20 (File)

Guwahati/New Delhi:

Assam government employees cannot marry for the second time, if their spouse is alive, without the government's permission, even if they are allowed to by their personal law.

Without mentioning any community, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said Assam government employee would need the state government's permission for a second marriage even if their religion allowed bigamy.

"Even if a religion allows you to have a second marriage, then also you have to seek state government's permission," the Chief Minister said.

"We have seen cases where after the death of the employees, both wives fight for the husband's pension," he added.

The Assam government put out these instructions for its employees in an office memo on October 20.

"No Government servant who has a wife living shall contract another marriage without first obtaining the permission of the Government, notwithstanding that such subsequent marriage is permissible under the personal law for the time being applicable to him," the order said.

Likewise, no woman government employee can marry if their husband is alive without first taking the government's permission, said the order that came into force with immediate effect.

Earlier this year, Mr Sarma had said that the Assam government wanted to ban polygamy immediately in the state. "We want ban polygamy immediately. We are planning to introduce the Bill it in the next Assembly session in September, and if we are unable to do it for some reason, we will do it in the January session," Mr Sarma had said.

The Chief Minister in August had also sought public opinion on a proposed law to end polygamy in the state.

The government said that the Assam government had formed an expert committee to study the legislative competence of the Assembly to enact a law banning polygamy, and the report stated that the state legislature is competent to enforce such a ban.

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