Woman’s word proves marriage legal: LHC
By Abid Butt
LAHORE: Justice Asif Saeed Khosa of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday observed that no Nikah Nama (marriage certificate) was needed to establish the validity of a marriage. If a woman appeared before the court and declared a man her husband, the court held, the marriage should be considered legal.
“It is in accordance with the Islamic principles and utterly lawful that mere declaration of a woman before the court should be deemed enough to institute validity of her marriage,” the court observed while disposing of a writ petition against a girl who married a man of her choice.
The court declared the marriage of petitioner Gulnaz with Mohsan Ali, her cousin, fair and lawful and let her go with her husband.
The LHC observed that the courts had no authority under Islamic jurisprudence and the Constitution of Pakistan to declare marriages of choice by adult girls invalid. “An adult girl has all rights to marry a man of her choice in an Islamic society.
Islam puts no bar on marriages of choice,” the court said. The LHC also quashed the first information report (FIR) lodged against the couple under the Hudood law, calling it (FIR) totally baseless and unnecessary.
The court also observed that the parents out of their frustration were trying to prosecute their children, portraying social and matrimonial issues as crimes.
The court observed that such an attempt by parents amounted to abuse of the law, which the courts would not allow on the wishes of “frustrated” parents. The court advised the parents to observe restraint and not make love marriages of their children a matter of their egos.
He suggested the parents of the children who married against their will not to take their matters to the police stations, courts or for public arbitration, but rather to resolve them mutually. The court advised the parents not to indulge in the character assassination of their daughters by making their marriages an issue.
The court said that it was parents’ moral, legal and religious obligation to seek their children’s consent for marriages, instead of imposing their own decisions.
Gulnaz, who belongs to Faislabad, told the court that her parents wanted her to marry an old man which she did not accept.
She said she approached her cousin Mr Ali and they married on October 20. She said her parents were pressurising her to get a divorce from her husband. She said she was also receiving threats from her parents.
Her counsel Nawab Ali Mayo said that lodging an FIR under the Hudood Ordinance was a tactic of Gulnaz’ parents to press her to leave her husband.