Guwahati, Oct 28 (SocialNews.XYZ) With the Assam government's decision to put restrictions on its employees from getting married for the second time if their spouses are alive sparked some controversy, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma defended the step on Friday.
He said the decision would reduce the dispute among 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 allow its employees if they seek permission for the second marriage.
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 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 the 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 mentioned.
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.