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Amendment to law on dissolution of marriage approved

LAHORE: The Law and Justice Commission (LJCP) approved on Saturday an amendment to the Family Court Rules to protect women seeking dissolution of marriage from legal complexities and ruled that the court passing divorce decree would send its copy to the union council concerned without delay.

The amendment was approved at a meeting held on the Lahore High Court premises under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, who is also chairman of the commission.

The commission took note of problems faced by married women who obtain dissolution of marriage on the basis of khula or otherwise, but fall victims to legal complexities because of non-intimation of dissolution decree to the chairman of the union council concerned.

It said the plaint for dissolution of marriage should contain, apart from other particulars, the name of the union council where the marriage was registered or performed so that the court passing the decree sent a copy of it to the relevant union council without any delay.

Juvenile Justice System

The commission also examined the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000, and proposed that the investigation of juvenile cases should be carried out by senior and experienced police officers not below the rank of BPS-17, with the assistance of psychiatrist/psychologist or a medical officer.

It recommended the release of a child for good conduct during trial or on the conclusion of the trial on probation. The custody of the child on probation should be given to the guardian or some other suitable person or a welfare institution. No female child shall be under the supervision of a male person during probation.

The commission approved a proposal that if a child is found guilty of the offence he/she should be sent to an institution which could provide better healthcare and education to the child. The child should not be sent to prison.

It also took notice of the abuse/misuse of section 489-F of the Pakistan Penal Code relating to punishment awarded to an accused person for bouncing of cheque.

It recommended addition of a provision to the section that before lodging an FIR on account of dishonoured cheque a written notice must be served on the drawer to pay the amount. If the drawer of the cheque fails to make the payment within 10 days after the receipt of notice, then an FIR can be lodged. The commission approved an amendment to the section authorising the sessions judge to seek bank record of the dishonoured cheque.

It approved an amendment to the Illegal Dispossession Act, 2005, allowing the right of appeal to the high court against an order of the sessions court. The appeal should be filed within 10 days of the order passed by the trial court.

The commission also took notice of reported incidents of inhuman practice of making an accused “walk on burning coal or fire” to prove his innocence.

It said that such cruel practices and customs should be strictly prohibited and recommended an amendment to the Pakistan Penal Code that the perpetrator of acts like making an accused to walk on burning coals or throwing in water or subjected other ordeal shall be made punishable with imprisonment up three years and fine.

The meeting was attended by Justice (retd) Rana Bhagwandas, Lahore High Court Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, Peshawar High Court Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Law and Justice Secretary Justice (retd) Riaz Kayani, former BHC CJ Justice (retd) Amir-ul-Mulk Mengal, Chairperson of the National Commission on Status of Women Ms Anis Haroon, senior advocate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, M. Sardar Khan and Supreme Court Registrar Dr Faqir Hussain.
Source: Dawn
Date:12/6/2009

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