RAWALPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench Justice Ibad ur Rehman Lodhi yesterday issued notices to Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP), Advocate General of Punjab, Shia religious scholars and many others seeking their opinion on a question whether or not a Shia widow who has no issue could get her share from property of her late husband. The hearing in case was deferred till May 25.

According to details, a petitioner Khalida Shamim Akhtar approached the LHC against the decision of lower court that had declared that she could not get a share in property of her late husband.

The widow had filed a suit with civil court for obtaining her share in the property of her husband. The civil court granted its decision in her favour. The district judge however set aside the civil court’s verdict.

Ghulam Jaffar, relative of Khalida’s husband, opposing the claim of the appellant maintained before the court that in Shia sect a childless widow was not entitled for share in her husband’s property.

The defendant had contended that the question of right of property for a childless Shia widow was raised before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The apex court in its decision in 1972, accepted the opinion of Shia religious scholars based on their five fundamental books on Shia laws. The Supreme Court of Pakistan however had raised a question whether the opinion of religious scholars could be preferred over clear instructions given in the Quran.

The lawyer further said that the issue was also taken up in the National Assembly during the government of Ayub Khan but the assembly could not pass the law after the Shia scholars maintained that it was settled principle in their laws.

After completion of arguments, LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Ibad ur Rehman Lodhi remarked that it was a question of law and the court needed assistance from the government and from the Shia religious scholars. Justice Lodhi summoned AGP, Advocate General of Punjab, prominent Shia scholars and many other people on May 25 to obtain their version over the plea of the widow.