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Nikahnama issue Court warns govt of contempt

PESHAWAR: The high court on Wednesday directed the provincial government to implement forthwith a court judgment delivered over a year ago regarding making necessary changes in nikahnama (marriage certificate) for simplifying provisions about dower and dowry.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi took exception to the non-compliance of the court order and observed that if the provincial government failed to make the required changes in nikahnama, the court would start contempt proceedings against the provincial law department.

The bench took notice of the issue while hearing a writ petition filed by Sajjad Ali, challenging a judgment of the family court through which a suit was decreed in favour of his wife, Ms Ayesha, and he was ordered to pay her monthly alimony.

Justice Dost Muhammad observed that last year they had delivered a judgment wherein the federal law division was directed to make necessary corrections in the entries of nikah form pertaining to dower so as to remove certain confusions which often resulted in delay in disposal of relevant family cases.

The bench observed that the Punjab government had made necessary changed in the nikahnama, whereas Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had so far not implemented the order.Justice Dost Muhammad observed that had the verdict been implemented, it would have simplified scores of cases and reduced burden on the family courts.

The said judgment was delivered on Feb 23, 2010, by a bench comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Pir Liaqat Ali in which the government was directed to reprint the nikah form and incorporate an additional column for mentioning of the dowry articles given to a woman by her parents.

In the detailed judgment, the bench had observed: “In the printed proforma of ‘nikahnama’, the entries for column No.15 and 16 are misleading in nature and courts are always taken to wrong conclusion because of the confusions created therefrom.”

“In the above highlighted facts and circumstances, we deem it essential to do away with such controversies once for all, therefore, the Federal Government/Law Division is directed to make necessary corrections in the entries of columns No.14 to No.16, so that the three types of dower whenever is fixed shall be clarified to be independent of each other and in case it is a substitute for one another then, a column for special note to that effect be provided,” the court ordered.

The bench had observed that there was another factor giving birth to controversies, which were hotly contested by the spouses in the courts. It was added that ordinarily the wife was given bridal gifts/dowry articles by her parents at the time of marriage (rukhsati).

The court further observed: “Being a document binding in nature on both the parties, therefore, once the ‘nikahnama’ is proved, then there would be no need to lead additional evidence proving the dowry articles or its value.”

Source: Dawn

Date:4/14/2011

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