Number of runaway marriages on the rise
By Ali Hassan
ISLAMABAD: Due to forced marriages and opposition to love marriages by the parents, the number of runaway marriages is increasing, having far-reaching impact on the socio-cultural and legal setup. The runaway couples have to face dire consequences and approach the courts for protection to their lives.
The same is being witnessed in capital as the index has outnumbered previous records in runaway couples approaching courts for marriages of their own will. An examination of the record at district courts disclosed that in June to September 8, 2011 as many as 98 runaway marriages were registered and statement was recorded under section 164 Cr PC for seeking appropriate legal protection from police and infuriated family members.
Besides, 73 applications were filed under 22-A and 22-B for not registration of FIR to seek protection and solemnising their marriages. While in January to May 2011, 77 runaway couples filed applications at district courts against the life threats by their relatives.
In court of Senior Civil Judge Mahmood Haroon 26 cases have been registered from different cities/ rural areas of country and they recorded their statement under section 164 Cr PC for life protection, of which 18 filed under section 22-A and 22-B for registering FIR against their relatives for teasing and threatening.
Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Yaar Muhammad Gondal’s court recorded 16 statement under section 164 Cr PC of runaway marriage couples, in which 12 applications were for seeking protection of life and to direct the police to restrain from teasing and threatening the runaway marriage couples. In the court of ADSJ Kamran Bashraat Mufti 13 runaway marriage couples recorded statements in July- September 2011 which 10 couples filed applications for registering FIR against their relatives.
Same in the court of ADSJ Judge Wajahat Hussain, 21 runaway marriages were registered and couples recorded their statements for life protection, in which 19 runaway couples filed application for seeking protection of lives and court directed the police to restrain from teasing and threatening the couples.
Meanwhile, in the court of District and Sessions Judge 22 runaway marriages were registered and recorded their statements under section 164, in which the 18 applications were of couples seeking protection of lives. According to Islamic law, the parties of a marital contract should possess discretion, understanding, real consent and puberty. After attaining puberty, a girl and boy has the right and full authority to contract a marriage. Constitution of Pakistan also assures the protection of fundamental human rights of every individual that are guaranteed in constitution and provides bases for legislation. Akhlas Chishti, a Nikah Khawan in local mosque said that our religion Islam provides us a complete code of life and guidance on every issue. He said that Islam permits the boy and girl to contract a marriage on their free consent.