ISLAMABAD: The government is poised to review religious laws that have lost their application and become outdated over the years as part of an initiative to reform the country’s laws, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Bridal Gift Restriction Act
Though hardly ever implemented, the current limit set for the expenditure on a wedding is Rs2,500.
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According to the Dowry and Bridal Gift Restriction Act, 1976, “The total expenditure on a marriage, excluding the value of dowry, bridal gifts and presents, but including the expenses on mehndi, baarat and valima, incurred by or on behalf of either party to the marriage shall not exceed Rs 2,500”. The ministry has now proposed to amend the clause and increase the expenditure limit to four tola gold, which is equal to Rs200,000.
The fine will now be fixed upon the amount spent over the wedding. Currently, the punishment may include imprisonment which may extend to six months, or fine which may extend to Rs10,000, or both.
Under clause 4 of the same act, guests can give Rs100 in cash or a gift, within the same amount. It has proposed that the limit be exceeded from Rs100 to Rs1,000.
The law that restricts people from eating, drinking and smoking in public places during fasting hours has also been reviewed.
Furthermore, under the existing law, restaurants, canteen owners or managers are not allowed to offer eatable during fasting hours.
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The current fine imposable on a violator is up to Rs500 and imprisonment which could be extended to three months. The ministry has proposed that the punishment should be extended to six months of imprisonment and up to Rs10,000 in fine.
Holy Quran Printing Act
According to a ministry official, it has also been decided to reform the Holy Quran Printing and Recording Act, 2011. Under the law, there is no mechanism for the disposal of the Holy Quran.
The ministry has proposed to form a board which will have the authority to take decisions on how the old copies of the Quran could be disposed, maintaining its sanctity.
New sections in Nikkahnama
According to the official, the ministry also proposed to add a box in the Nikkahnama to fill in the exact nature of dowry, including the exact amount to be given to the bride, vehicle, plot or anything else.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2016.
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