Christians can now file for divorce without adultery allegation, says Lahore HC

Lahore : Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has said Christians would now be able to file for divorce without accusing each other of adultery.

On Monday, the court allowed a petition challenging a provision of the Christian Divorce Act 1869, which requires a Christian couple to use allegation of adultery for dissolution of marriage.

Chief Justice Shah said the court restored Section 7 of the Christian Divorce Act 1869 that enables a couple to approach a court of law for dissolution of marriage on ordinary grounds. Reasons would be given in a detailed verdict, reports the Dawn.

Section 7 of the Act was suspended by former military ruler Zia-ul-Haq through an ordinance in 1981, leaving no ground for Christian males to divorce their wives except on charges of adultery.

The writ petition was filed by Amin Masih through Advocate Sheraz Zaka for the restoration of Section 7, saying he wanted to divorce his wife, but without accusing her of adultery.

The counsel argued that the suspended section should be restored according to which the principles of courts of England would apply as far as family/divorce issues of Christians were concerned. He said by the restoration of Section 7 there will be other just and reasonable grounds available in order to seek a divorce by a Christian man.

Advocate Zaka contended that since protection of minorities was one of the norm/salient features of Constitution of Pakistan, therefore, the omission of Section 7 of the Divorce Act 1869 through the ordinance should be declared unconstitutional as well as null and void. (ANI)