Saturday, February 24, 2024

Pakistani Family Laws Need Amendments

Family LawsPakistan is one of those countries of the world where centuries’ old family value are considered sacred and precision hence cherished with pride, but unfortunately this structure is crumbling. The global influences are seeping in and a structure of multi color and multi texture is forming. People have new priorities in life and their living habits are changing. Trends and traits used to be followed and practiced with pride are now seen as old fashion or “deprivation of liberty”.  Decades old family laws cannot coup up with this change, because these were based on assumptions and stereotypical ideologies. These laws have loop holes which are exploited by wife, husband and most importantly by practicing lawyers to intimidate opponents, perform financial corruption, manipulation and black mailing. There is a huge industry developed, injected venom and sucking life out of a breaking family scenario. Huge reforms and amendments are urgently required in Pakistani family laws. Here are some of the suggestions proposed.

1. Nikkah, Marriage Registration, Dowry:-
A- At the time of marriage registration, it must be made compulsory to follow and imply the “Bridal & Dowry Gift Restriction Act 1976 rules (Rule 4.1, Form D1). It must be mandatory to prepare the Form D1 at the time of Nikka ceremony.
B- Form D1 should be made a part of the Nikkah Nama.
C- Without duly prepared Form D1 and duly signed Affidavits of Bride and Groom (verifying the authenticity and mutual consent on that Form D1 particulars), the Nikka Nama must not be registered in the Union Council / Town Kameti, hence considered as ‘pending status’ till the submission of the necessary documents.
D- Such incomplete Nikkah Nama impose no judicial obligation on the both parties, like:-
i- Dowry Articles and their worth.
ii- Wedding Gifts.
iii- Miscellaneous expenses of marriage from either party.
iv- Recovery of any or all of the above three.
Other than the core Fundamental Obligations instructed by Islam:-
i- Payment of Haq Mehar.
ii- Rukhsatee.
iii- Wife’s Maintenance Allowance (Till the registration of First Divorce Notice. In case divorce process initiates).
iv- Husband’s Conjugal Rights.
v- Eddat ka Kharcha (In case divorce process initiates. From the date of registration of First Divorce Notice:-
a. A fixed amount of rupee 5000 per month, if the Husband works within Pakistan and has Pakistani nationality, regardless of his financial status.
b. A fixed amount of USD 150 per month, if the Husband works outside Pakistan or has a Foreign Nationality, regardless of his financial status.
E- There must be a limit imposed on marriage expenses on both parties (Bride and Groom):-
i- Gathering of Barat Reception must not be more than 300 peoples.
ii- Gathering of Walima must not be more than 500 peoples.
iii- Ceremonies where more than one couples are getting married should be exempt from these limits.

2- Divorce, Procedure of Arbitration and Completion:-
A- Union Council / Town Council must have no jurisdiction over divorce process:-
i- The divorce notice must be sent to NADRA and a copy to Wife’s present house.
ii- NADRA must register the first certificate, and then issue a letter to the respective Union Council to initiate the process of arbitration and to call the both parties.
iii- Arbitration committee must send 3 notices for appearance to both parties, attending at least one session should be mandatory, where both parties must submit their concerns / complaints against each other in written form.
iv- There must be at least two police officers present in the Union Council’s premises on the day of arbitration sessions.
v- Arbitration committee must inform the progress of each session to NADRA.
vi- If the arbitration efforts succeed and the committee submits the report in positive, NADRA must keep the record of First Notice and issue a Certificate of Settlement, enlisting the details of Notice i.e. date of issue, count of Talaq, arbitration time and settlement date. This record will help determine the nature of Talaq and number of notices issued by the Husband to a Wife in their lifetime.
vii- If the arbitration efforts fail, or 90 days period is over, or NADRA receives 3 notices. The arbitration committee must submit the report to NADRA. The NADRA must conclude the case and issue a notice to pay the Eddat ka Kharcha within 30 days, after that a fine of 20% must be imposed.
viii- The amount of Eddat ka Kharcha is fixed by the State, a flat rate amount, regardless the financial status of husband and wife:-
a- A fixed amount of rupee 5000 per month, if the Husband works within Pakistan and has Pakistani nationality, regardless of his financial status.
b- A fixed amount of USD 150 per month, if the Husband works outside Pakistan or has a Foreign Nationality, regardless of his financial status.
ix- The husband must pay the amount at the local NADRA office.
x- The Wife can collect the amount from any NADRA office at her convenience, within one year time period. She has to come herself to collect the payment.

3- Child Custody and Welfare of Minors:-
A- If a couple fails to continue the marriage agreement and it end up at divorce. By law the child becomes the responsibility of the State. The State will give a chance to both parties to come up to a settlement, asking, who will be the sole care taker of the child, under the umbrella of State. Since they are not together as a couple anymore, they both have lost their right over the child. Only one party can be the sole care taker of the child, the remaining party having no authority or obligation over child’s well being, will have limited rights over the child:-
i- Father gives up his right of Child’s Custody:-
## The mother will become the sole car taker of the child under the supervision of the State.
## The mother cannot claim maintenance allowance from child’s father.
## Once the custody of the child has been awarded to any one party, mother or father, the second party cannot force the first to make the child available for frequent meetups.
## The State will provide a monthly allowance to the mother, after assessing her financial status, which will increase annually at the fixed rate of 5% till the age of 21.
## The State will register an insurance policy in the name the child. And the child will receive it at the age of 21.
## The State will make sure that the child reserves the fundamental Rights of Inheritance. And the Islamic Law of Inheritance must be followed without any doubt, from both sides, the mother and the father.



These article is purely an idea, going through the process of corrections and amendments. New points and clause will be added soon. Enjoy reading. Suggestions and comments will be appreciated… 

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