ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday sent to committee a proposed amendment to the same law that PML-N MNA Marvi Memon had tried to amend earlier this year, and failed.
MQM MNA Kishwar Zehra tabled the bill to amend the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, seeking increased punishments for the offence of child marriage. The amendment called for increasing the sentence of those found guilty from one month to three years, and raising the fine imposed from Rs1,000 to Rs300,000.
Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousuf did not oppose the bill, suggesting that it be sent to the committee. But knowing what became of the last such amendment, Ms Zehra attempted to block the minister’s suggestion.
“Similar amendments, such as the one moved by Marvi Memon earlier, have also been turned down by the Council of Islamic Ideology, so there is no use of sending the bill to them,” she said.
However, the minister argued that under the Constitution, no laws repugnant to the Holy Quran or the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) could be enacted. “The CII is a constitutional forum and it has the right to review the bill, which is related to Sharia,” he said.
“I do not agree with the CII’s viewpoint,” retorted the MQM lawmaker, prompting NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq to intervene. “You can disagree with them on the record, let the bill be sent to the committee,” he said, winding up the matter.