LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Monday restored Section 7 of Christian Divorce Act, 1869, enabling Christian couples to part their ways with reasonable way by approaching the court of law if they consider that their marriages are not workable.

The LHC set aside provision of Christian Divorce Act, 1869 which required Christian couples to use allegation of adultery against women to seek dissolution of marriage.

Through the order, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah held that now Christians would be able to part their ways in a dignifies way without accusing each other of adultery.

Former military dictator Ziaul Haq had suspended Section 7 of the said Act, leaving no reason for Christian men to divorce their wives except levelling allegations of adultery.

Amin Masih had moved the court through his counsel Sheraz Zaka, challenging the disgraceful law and sought restoration of Section 7 of Christian Divorce Act 1869. The petitioner submitted that restoration of the suspended Section would enable the Christians to part their ways with dignity and without charging each other of adultery.

After restoration of the said Act, the petitioner said, the principles of Courts of England would apply to the family/divorce issues of Christians. And there would also be other just and reasonable grounds available for them to seek divorce after restoration of the said Act, he added. Currently, Christians had only one ground under Section 10 of the Act according to which allegations of adultery were required for them to part ways. Such legal binding was against the dignity of the law, held the petitioner.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that in UK, the Christian couples had reasons to seek divorce under Matrimonial Causes Act but it was not available to them in Pakistan if their marriages were not workable.

The counsel further argued that the Constitution of Pakistan guaranteed protection of minorities but Section 10 of the said Act had made their lives miserable. He requested the court to restore the suspended Section.

LHC takes up plea against judges’ summer vacations

The Lahore High Court Monday issued notices to all bar associations of Punjab in a petition seeking directions to abolish judges’ summer vacations and to increase court working time for eight hours a day.

Justice Shahid Karim passed the order on petition moved by Lawyers Foundation. The petitioner’s counsel argued that summer vacations for judges were initially started by British rulers and the reason was that the British judges were not able to bear scorching summer heat of subcontinent. The counsel said the judges at that time used to go back to their home towns. But the judges of the region had no such issue while modern electronic gadgets were of great help to beat the heat. The counsel held that now long summer vacations of judges were causing delay in dispensation of justice. He said the institution of cases had also increased before the LHC and in such situation, long summer vacations were not affordable.

The litigants also suffer due to these vacations, he added.

The counsel pleaded the court that working court time should be fixed for eight hours because it would be helpful in early disposal of cases. He prayed the court to abolish summer vacations of judges and increase court working hours up to eight hours.

Student stab case

The LHC on Monday dismissed Intra Court Appeal of a lawyer’s son challenging administrative order of the chief justice regarding day to day proceeding of his trial in a stabbing case.

A division bench passed the order after the suspect challenged single bench decision. Previously, a single bench of Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi dismissed his constitutional petition holding that the day to day trial would not deprive the accused of his any legal right.

The judge had observed that it also would be in favour of the accused; the day to day proceedings would be of great help to prove his innocence within days.

Shah Hussain, son of a lawyer, faces charges of attacking her class fellow Khadija Siddiqui with a knife at Davis Road. The suspect attacked her 23 times.

In his appeal, the suspect had submitted that it was a case of an ordinary nature and there was no urgency to conduct trial on day to day basis. He asked to declare the chief justice’s administrative order as illegal.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had earlier sought a report from Lahore district & sessions judge about progress in this attempt to murder case of a law student. After submission of report, the CJ ordered judicial magistrate Mubashir Hussain Awan to hold trial proceedings on a day-to-day basis and conclude it within 30 days.

The Civil Lines Police had booked him on charges of attempted murder of Khadija Siddique.