Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has clarified that no state government employee can enter into a second marriage without the approval of the government.
“As an Assam government employee, from the point of our service rule, he is not entitled to enter into a second marriage. However, if some religion allows you to do so, even then as per the rule, you have to get permission from the state government. It might give you or may not give you. After the death of the employee, two wives fight with each other over pension issues and we find it very difficult to settle those,” Himanta Biswa said.
He also said that this rule was there earlier, but we did not enforce it. Now, we have decided to enforce it. The order dated October 20 issued by Niraj Verma, additional chief secretary of the personnel department conveyed the same to all the government employees.
The remarks came against the backdrop of the government announcement in September to bring a law in the state assembly that will ban polygamy. Polygamy is the practice of marrying more than one person (multiple spouses).
At that time, the Assam CM had said that the government had taken the suggestions from 149 people on the polygamy bill and 146 people have supported the same. The Assam government also constituted a five-member committee, under the Chairmanship of Devajit Lon Saikia, Advocate General of Assam, to draft appropriate legislation for banning polygamy and other related issues such as tackling inter-religious marriage by false identity, the role of Kazis in the matter of Child Marriage etc.
In the second phase of a state-wide crackdown against child marriage, the Assam police on October 3 arrested more than 800 accused persons. Giving details, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote on X, “In a massive crackdown against child marriage, Assam Police has arrested over 800 accused persons in a special operation which began in the early hours of dawn. The number of arrests is likely to rise.”