No 2nd marriage without govt approval in Assam: Himanta Biswa Sarma's new diktat
As Assam govt warns employees against bigamy, the chief minister says the decision will reduce pension disputes among families
Employees of the Assam government cannot marry for a second time if their spouse is alive — unless the get the government's permission, instructed chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
So, even if they are allowed to by their personal law, the employees will have to take permission from the government.
Defending the decision that sparked controversy in Assam, Sarma said the this would reduce dispute over pensions within families.
"We have seen a number of times that after the death of a particular employee, two wives of that person demand the family pension. A lot of cases related to pension disbursal were pending due to the complications from this situation. Many widows were deprived from getting pension benefits due to this," Sarma said.
The chief minister also said that the rule is not new and it was always there in Assam government service rules. "It was not enforced earlier. Now, we are implementing the provisions in the Assam government service rule."
Sarma also said that the state government may or may not grant permission to employees who do request that a second marriage be allowed.
The Assam government has forbidden its employees from getting married to someone else while their spouse is still alive, and threatened to take legal action against them if they commit bigamy.
The personnel department has issued an office memorandum (OM) instructing the staff to obtain government approval before getting married to someone else if their spouse is still living. The memorandum, however, made no mention of a divorce requirement.
"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 female government employee shall marry any person if her husband is alive without first obtaining the permission of the government, said the OM, which came into force with immediate effect.