GUWAHATI- The Assam government issued an order reinforcing a longstanding provision that requires government employees to seek official approval before entering into a second marriage, even if their personal religious or customary laws permit polygamy.
This regulation has been a part of the rulebook governing central and state government employees for several decades. The recent directive serves as a reminder to all employees in the state regarding the existing policy.
The issuance of this order on October 20 follows an earlier announcement by the state’s Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, in August. He had declared that the Assam government was ready to pass a state law to prohibit polygamy as a preventive measure.
The order issued by Assam’s additional chief secretary Niraj Verma states, “It is hereby reiterated that as per the provisions of Rule 26 of The Assam Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965, (1) 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. No female Government servant shall marry any person who has a wife living without first obtaining the permission of the Government.”
The state additional chief secretary’s order warned employees about the violation of the rule, saying that “against those government servants found to have violated Rule 26 of the Assam Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965, which itself is a gross violation of misconduct on the part of a government servant having large bearing on society.”
“The Disciplinary Authorilics besides initiating Departmental Proceedings shall also take necessary steps for inflicting legal penal action by the court of law, as per provisions of law whenever such cases are detected,” the order added.