LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Monday, on a plea seeking Section 10 of the Christian Divorce Act 1869 ultra vires and in contravention of the constitution for being insulting to women, asked attorney general of Pakistan and bishop of Lahore to assist the court on next date of hearing.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC issued this order on a petition moved by Ameen Masih, a local resident. The petitioner, through his counsel Sheraz Zaka Mir, said he was a member of Christian community and a family suit of maintenance was pending against him before a civil court. He told the court that he had not been happy with his wife for the last two years because of his in-laws.

It was not possible for him to continue this matrimonial relationship with his wife and he wanted separation, the petitioner said. He said according to Christian Divorce Act 1869 it was compulsory for a man to accuse his wife of adultery, which she never committed, before getting separated.

The petitioner said Christian Divorce Act 1869 made it compulsory that a Christian could divorce his wife only on the ground of adultery. He said the present Christian divorce act was promulgated in colonial era.

He prayed the court to exercise its power of judicial review and declare Section 10 of the act ultra vires and in contravention of the constitution and abridge fundamental rights of Christians.

He said even the objectives resolution also says that the rights of minorities would be protected. He said filing a divorce before the courts on behalf of Christian husband just on single ground of adultery has made the lives of both male and female deplorable and this was immutable which resulted in tarnishing image of female in society.

He prayed the court to declare Section 10 of Christian Divorce Act 1869 in contravention of the Constitution. The court, after hearing the arguments, adjourned further proceedings till June 07.

In another case, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC adjourned till May 20, the proceedings of an appeal against recounting of votes and verification of thumb impression in his constituency filed by MPA Mian Marghoob Ahmad. As proceedings started, a law officer appeared in the court and submitted a written reply. A PTI candidate had challenged his victory before the Election Commission and said that mostly the fake votes were cast.

PATWARI’S JAIL TERM SUSPENDED: Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik of the Lahore High Court on Monday suspended jail term of a former patwari in 11 different cases of corruption.

Javed Akhtar, a former patwari, in his petition submitted that Asif Nakai, brother of former minister Arif Nakai, had implicated him in 11 different cases in 1992 accusing him of committing embezzlement.

The petitioner said an anti-corruption court implicated cases against him and got him awarded 88 years of imprisonment. He said the cases were registered against him on malafide intentions and he was not involved in fraud.

The judge suspended the imprisonment of the petitioner-accused after hearing the arguments of both parties and issued notices to both of them.