Appeal for personal law reform…in Pakistan

In a South Asian context the fault lies here as much with the (faux) liberals as with the dyed-in-the-wool conservatives. These laws more than anything else keep people in their ghettos. Also it points to the huge (sometimes evil) influence that pre-modern Britain had on the sub-continent (not that this excuses the inability of SAsians to repeal discriminatory and stupid laws).

A Pakistani man on Friday challenged the nearly 150-year-old
Christian Divorce Act in a court so that he could separate from his wife without
accusing her of adultery. Ameen Masih, who filed a petition in the Lahore high
court, said, “I want separation but
owing to complications in the Christian Divorce Act of 1869, I have no other
option but to level an allegation of adultery against her.”

He said: “With pain I have to admit that I accused my
wife of adultery, which she never committed, in order to divorce her.” Masih said divorces under the act had been
tarnishing the image of innocent Christian women.

The act enacted during the British Raj has legal lacuna that
should be done away with, he said. Section 10 of the act should be declared
ultra vires and in contravention of the Constitution, he added. “Only
provision of divorce abridges the fundamental rights of Christians,” he
said. Masih asked the court to strike
down the impugned section of the act so that Christian men could divorce their
wives in a “dignified way”.


Brown Pundits