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Permission from arbitration council mandatory for 2nd marriage: IHC

Permission

News Desk |

Surprising as it may seem, permission from the first wife for a second marriage is not enough as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has made it mandatory to obtain permission from reconciliation council before tying the knot for the second time.

In the judgment, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah has ruled that permission from reconciliation council is a must despite taking permission from the first wife. The high court’s chief justice has held that if a person enters into a second marriage by obtaining permission from his first wife but reconciliation council refuses permission to him then he will be liable to be punished on a second marriage.

The court has observed that under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961, second marriage without permission by a man will render him liable to punishment and fine.

Justice Minallah has noted in the judgment that the appellate court had “definitely” not taken into consideration the legal provisions of various statutes before passing the judgment.

A lawyer Imran Shafique, however, said on Twitter that only permission from the council was mandatory under the law.

Brief Facts of Case

Petitioner Dilshad Bibi assailed judgment of the additional sessions judge in district West of Islamabad passed on May 5, 2017, whereby the appeal filed by responded Liaqat Ali Meer was allowed and consequently his conviction was set aside on the sole ground that the trial court was not competent to exercise jurisdiction.

While briefly narrating the facts, the judgment read, the petitioner and the respondent entered into a marriage contract on May 15, 2011, which was duly registered in Islamabad under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.

For some time the couple lived in Islamabad and later moved to Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Due to matrimonial differences, the judgment noted, the petitioner returned to Islamabad on January 08, 2013 and contracted a second marriage without the consent of the petitioner, which led to the filing of a complaint by the latter seeking initiation of proceedings under sub-section (5) of section 6 of the Ordinance of 1961.

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The court stated that magistrate of Islamabad had awarded punishment to Meer for contracting a second marriage without seeking permission from the reconciliation council. He was given a sentence of one month and was fined to the tune of Rs5,000.

Later, an additional sessions judge had acquitted Meer for being a resident of Azad Kashmir. However, IHC while hearing the appeal of Meer’s first wife set aside the acquittal order and directed that the sessions judge should decide the case of second marriage on merit afresh at the earliest.

With Valid CNIC, Person can’t Claim he/she is not a Citizen of Pakistan: Judgment

“In the facts and circumstances of the case in hand, it is an admitted position that the respondent, regardless of his place of residence, holds a National Identity Card issued to him by the Authority under the Ordinance of 2000,” Justice Minallah stated in the judgment.

“As long as the National Identity Card remains valid and subsisting, the respondent cannot claim to be a person who is not a citizen of Pakistan,” he stated, adding that the marriage was contracted between the parties and duly registered in Islamabad and, therefore, to the extent of the petitioner the cause of action in the context of section 6 of the Ordinance of 1961 has arisen in Islamabad.

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Justice Minallah has noted in the judgment that the appellate court had “definitely” not taken into consideration the legal provisions of various statutes before passing the judgment.

While allowing Bibi’s petition, Justice Minallah has ordered a competent court for decision afresh on merits after affording an opportunity of hearing to the parties. Perhaps the matter is being heard since 2013, Justice Minallah has concluded the judgment by saying that: “This Court expects that the appeal would be decided at the earliest.”

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