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Adult girl has right to marry of her own will

PESHAWAR – The Peshawar High Court on December 10, observed that an adult girl has the legal and religious right to marry in accordance with her choice.

Justice Tariq Pervez observed that petitioner Shamsus Surriya had not done anything wrong when she declined to marry her cousin.

She was attacked by her uncle, Aurangzeb, and two other men identified as Aqeel and Israr, when she refused to marry Ibad, son of Mr. Aurangzeb. She received a bullet injury in her arm in the attack on Sept 29 in Khwazakhela, Swat.

Her uncle was bailed out by a session court because on the day of the attack he was present in the high court, but the two other suspects were denied bail. The high court took up on Friday a petition filed by the girl seeking cancellation of the bail of the accused.

The bench dismissed the bail cancellation petition because the registrar of the high court had confirmed that Aurangzeb was present in a civil case on that day. The court also granted bail to the other two co-accused as they were charged with ineffective firing.

The bench directed the father of the girl, Alamzeb, not to force her to marry against her will. Alamzeb requested the court to hand over Shamsus Surriya to him. Due to a threat from her immediate family members, the girl has been living with her maternal-uncle.

Justice Tariq Pervez reprimanded both Alamzeb and Aurangzeb, observing that the girl had exercised her religious and legal rights. The court asked them why were they opposed to what were allowed by the religion and the law of the land.

Justice Pervez placed his hand over the head of the girl and told her that he (the judge) was like her father and she should clearly tell her why she was against the match.

The girl told the court that her future mother-in-law was treating her very badly even before the nikkah. She added that she wanted to marry a man of her choice as she had realized that she might not live happily in her uncle’s home.

She stated that she did not want to go with her father as he might harm her. The court directed her father not to inflict any harm on her. Justice Pervez ordered that if anything happened to the girl the father would be held responsible.

The court issued directives to the district and sessions judge concerned and the SHO of the police station concerned to take action against Alamzeb if anything untoward happened to the girl.

Source: Dawn