LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has clarified that secret second marriages are punishable only in family court, on Wednesday.
The court stated that only a family court has the right to sentence a man accused of second marriage.
Court’s clarification came out after a judicial magistrate who sentenced a man to jail over second marriage without informing his wife.
In 2020, Pakistan’s Supreme Court made it mandatory for men to give haq mehr to their wives before marrying for the second time.
In its verdict, a two-member bench said that the husband will have to pay the entire amount of dower fixed at the time of marriage immediately if he enters into a second marriage without seeking permission either from first wife or arbitration council.
Earlier in 2019, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced that approval from the Arbitration Council is mandatory for a second marriage, in spite of the permission from first wife.
The detailed verdict issued by Justice Athar Minallah stated that permission of the Arbitrary Council was obligatory for the husband in addition to consent of the first wife.
As per the 1961 Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, “The person who performs a marriage without permission will be punished and fined. The individual will also be penalized for second marriage if the Arbitration Council does not permit it in spite of the approval by the first wife.”
The high court also quashed the decision of a lower court through which a person, Liaqat Ali Mir, was vindicated in the same case. Mir married Dilshad Bibi in 2011 and tied the knot for a second time in 2013 without permission of his wife and the Arbitration Council. A Islamabad magistrate had sentenced him to jail for one month and fined him Rs5,000. Later, he was released by an additional session judge on the basis that he hailed from Azad Kashmi