The Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected a man’s plea for seeking a criminal case under the offence of Zina (fornication) against his ex-wife who according to him had solemnised second marriage without observing the period of Iddah (a waiting period that a Muslim woman observes after the death of her husband or after a divorce).
Petitioner Ameer Bakhsh had challenged in the LHC an order of the district court Muzaffargarh wherein he had informed the court that the act of respondents (ex-wife and her new husband) was against the teachings of Islam and amounts to committing fornication as defined under section 4 and punishable under section 5 of Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979. He had also requested the court to pass directions to concerned quarters to register a case under aforesaid sections.
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LHC’s Ali Zia Bajwa upholding the decision of district court Muzaffargarh also dismissed Ameer Bakhsh (petitioner)’s petition with observations that irregular marriage may have its own consequences under Muslim Personal law but the same cannot be treated as void and union of respondents (ex-wife and new husband) in consequence of Nikah cannot be regarded as a cognizable offence, as defined under section 4 and punishable under section 5 of Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979, entailing penal consequences.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2022.
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