The Assam government yesterday constituted an expert panel of 4 members to examine whether the state government has the authority to ban polygamy in the state.

Assam's Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing the press on the occasion of the second anniversary of his government said that an expert committee would be formed to examine whether the state legislature is empowered to prohibit polygamy and further said that such a committee would be comprised of legal experts and scholars who will be examining the provisions of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act, 1937 read with Article 25 of the Constitution of India; directive principles of state policy.

Chief Minister Sarma yesterday tweeted, “Following my announcement to form an expert committee to examine the legislative competence of state legislature to enact a law to end polygamy, the state government has constituted the committee today. The committee comprises the following members: 1) Justice (Retired) Rumi Kumari Phukan-Chairperson, 2) Debajit Saikia, Advocate General, Assam-Member, 3) Nalin S Kohli, Additional Advocate General, Assam-Member and 4) Nekibur Zaman-Advocate. The committee has been given a deadline of 60 days to submit its report.”

He had earlier pointed out that the ban would be achieved through consensus and not aggression and that his government will be consulting intellectuals, Islamic scholars, and elders which will be a consensus-building activity, rather than a provocation.

CM has informed that many cases relating to polygamy were detected in Southern Assam's Barak Valley and Central Assam's Hojai and Jamunamukh and that polygamy is almost nil among the educated class and the indigenous Muslims of the State.

The Chairperson of the expert committee i.e., Justice (Retired) Rumi Kumari Phukan earlier worked as a District and Sessions Judge in Dibrugarh and was elevated to the Bench of Additional Judge, Gauhati High Court in 2015 and became a permanent Judge in 2019. Thereafter, she retired in the month of June last year, and post her retirement, the Assam government constituted a one-person inquiry commission led by her in 2022 to probe the circumstances leading to a firing incident at Mukroh.

Senior Advocate Devajit Saikia is the Advocate General of Assam, while Advocate Nalin S. Kohli is the Additional Advocate General of Assam in the Supreme Court. He is also a national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).