ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan has held that it is mandatory for men to give Haq Mehr (the entire amount of dower) to their wives before marrying for the second time.

In a five-page order of the apex court, authored by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, said that the husband would have to pay the entire amount of dower fixed at the time of marriage immediately, if he entered into a second marriage without seeking permission either from the first wife or the arbitration council.

 A two-member bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi delivered the judgment in an appeal against the Peshawar High Court verdict. The bench dismissed the man’s appeal and upheld the PHC’s decision.

The PHC had ordered the man to pay his first wife entire amount of dower because he contracted a second marriage without seeking his first wife’s permission.

 The apex court noted in its verdict, “It is now abundantly clear that the entire amount of dower fixed at the time of marriage whether prompt or deferred is immediately payable on account of second marriage. The petitioner No.1 by entering into second marriage without seeking prior permission either from the existing wife i.e. respondent No.1 or the Arbitration Council, the dower even if it is termed as deferred or prompt has become payable without any delay.”

It added that “otherwise the provision of Section 6 of the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 is in consonance with the injunctions of Islam. The said provisions has not placed any restriction to contract second marriage, rather it only relates to seeking permission before entering into second marriage in order to regulate the structure of society as a whole”.

“Any deviation from the provision of section 6 of Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961, it might ensue number of issues which would frustrate the fabric of relationship within society, therefore, the judgment of the learned Single Bench of Peshawar High Court for immediate payment of dower (5 Tolas of gold) is quite in accordance with law,” maintained the court.

The apex court ratified the PHC’s decision and set aside the appeal against it. The court also ordered petitioner Muhammad Jameel who had married without the consent of his first wife to immediately pay her the total dower agreed on the day of his marriage.