The Assam government has constituted a four-member expert committee to examine the legislative competence of the state legislature to enact a law to end polygamy, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The panel, headed by Justice (Retired) Rumi Phookan, has been asked to submit its report within two months, the chief minister said in a tweet on Thursday night.
Other members of the committee are Assam advocate general Debajit Saikia, additional advocate general Nalin Kohli and senior advocate Nekibur Zaman.
‘Following my announcement to form an expert committee to examine the legislative competence of state legislature to enact a law to end polygamy, the state government has constituted the committee today. The committee has been given a deadline of 60 days to submit its report,’ the chief minister said on the microblogging site.
Sarma had announced on Tuesday that the state government would set up an expert committee of legal luminaries to scrutinise the legality of banning polygamy in the state by the legislative assembly.
He had also said that the proposed panel would examine the provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 along with Article 25 of the Constitution in relation to the Directive Principles of State Policy for a Uniform Civil Code.
Article 25 gives freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion to the citizens of India.
“We are not going towards Uniform Civil Code (UCC) for which a national consensus will be required, and the central government will take an initiative in this regard,” Sarma had said at a press conference on May 9 to mark the completion of two years of his government.
UCC is a ‘much wider aspect’ and in Assam, ‘we are announcing our intention to ban polygamy in the state as one component of the UCC’, he had said.