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Sindh High Court issues notices in two freewill marriage cases

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday issued notices to the provincial government law officer, prosecutors and other respondents in two separate petitions filed by as many freewill couples seeking protection.

One of the petitions was filed by Noor Muhammed Mehar and Iram Manghwar, residents of Mubarakapur village, Pannu Aqil, who contracted marriage after the woman executed a freewill agreement at the City Courts on Aug 4.

They impleaded the home secretary, deputy inspector-general of Sukkur, SHO of the Mubarakpur police station and family members of the woman as respondents.

Mr Mehar stated that the family of his wife did not accept their marriage and the couple were declared liable to be killed in the name of honour. Besides, he said, he was also booked by the Pannu Aqil police for kidnapping his wife, who had left her home and married him of her own freewill.

The petitioner stated that SHO of the Pannu Aqil police station Khadim Hussain had demanded Rs500,000 from him and threatened to kill the couple if the money was not paid. The woman submitted that her father wanted to marry her off to a blind man and she fled home.

The court restrained the respondent family members and police officials from harassing the couple or the man’s family members.

The other petition was filed by Atiya and Ali Akbar who apprehended highhandedness by police on the instigation of the woman’s family.

The couple married in Karachi on April 5 after the woman executed a freewill certificate before a magistrate. The couple stated that they had been declared Karo-kari, or liable to be killed in the name of honour, and prayed to the court to provide them protection.

The woman submitted that she left her Tando Adam home as her father wanted her to marry a drug addict.

She said her father had threatened to kill her if she did not marry the man of his choice. Petitioner Ali Akbar said he was booked in a false case of kidnapping of his wife by her family members. He prayed to the court to order the cancellation of the FIR against him.

The court issued notices to the provincial law officer in both petitions and put off the hearing to Aug 27.