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Minorities rights enforcement

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On 19 June 2017, the honourable Chief Justice of Lahore Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah gave a landmark judgement regarding the interpretation of Christian divorce Act 1869. The judgement was recently reported in a law journal called the Pakistan Law Digest August edition on page 610.

The honourable chief justice delineated that the court is a constitutional court and it was not supposed to interpret the Bible or canonical law. Instead the court is supposed to enforce fundamental rights of Christian minorities by the interpretation of the constitution.

The court further elaborated that across the world in countries where Christians are living in majority, a Christian couple can seek divorce on reasonable grounds if they do not want to live together. Christian couples do not need to prove the charge of adultery in order to separate or seek divorce.

Unfortunately in Pakistan there was only one ground for a man to seek divorce under section 10 of the divorce act. The act stated that a man had to prove a charge of adultery and then divorce his wife.

Therefore the court restored Section 7 of the Divorce Act of1869 which was removed by President Ziaul Haq through a federal declaration revision ordinance in 1981. Through the restoration of section 7 all other grounds will be........

© Daily Times