Child marriage: AIUDF claims crackdown without framing rules; Cong questions failure of other govt bodies


The AIUDF on Saturday alleged that the Assam government is carrying out a crackdown on child marriage under provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) without framing the requisite rules. The Congress too questioned the BJP-led government for failing to act against agencies which are mandated to protect child rights. In a crackdown on child marriage since Friday, police have arrested 2,258 people so far based on 4,074 FIRs registered against such cases with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asserting on Saturday that the drive will continue till 2026 Assembly election. AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam claimed that rules for implementing the (PCMA) have not been framed by the state government. The PCMA of 2006 came into effect from 2007. Since it is a Central act, the states have to frame the rules. From 2007 to 2014, the state was under Congress rule, and since then, under BJP. Why didnt the government of the day frame the rules? he questioned. He pointed that incumbent chief minister had been holding different departments since 2007 but did nothing then. It is a mere political gimmick (the recent crackdown) to divert peoples attention from real issues like the lackadaisical Union Budget, Adanis scam, etc., the AIUDF legislator claimed. He said the AIUDF was opposed to child marriage even though it is permitted under certain provisions of Islam as the party views it as a social problem. We will support the government in acting against it if everything is done as per law and procedure, Islam added. A senior advocate of the Guwahati High Court who did not wish to be named, however, maintained that laws can be implemented without framing rules. If the central law is exhaustive, it can be implemented without the need for framing laws. There are many Supreme Court rulings in favour of this he said. The advocate added that he was not certain whether rules had not been framed in case of PCMA in Assam yet. Meanwhile, Congress leader Debabrata Saikia questioned the government for failing to take action against child rights protection bodies who have not taken measures against child marriage. There is a state commission for protection of child rights and similar bodies, headed by BJP leaders. They did nothing in the last seven years. The chief minister should hold them also accountable, he said. The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly urged the CM to not disrupt people who have been married for six-seven years and are leaving as a family with children. Nothing can be solved by disrupting the family life of these people. Rather, it must be ensured that no child marriage happens in the future, Saikia added.

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