Formation of Christian Personal Law Board inevitable says PCC

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Pakistan Christian Congress has pressed for a need to form a board which will address the issues related to Christian Personal laws in Pakistan. In a statement issued by the PCC chief Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti that the fact that Muslim judges issue decrees of divorce of Christian couples, grant permission of marriage to Christian couples while Muslim Registrars register Christian marriages is totally unconstitutional.

Christian family laws in Pakistan

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti stated that these practices are against Christian Marriage Act of 1872 which is still in effect in the country. “Christian Personal Law or family law consists of Adoption, Divorce, Guardianship, Marriage and Succession which does not match Muslim Personal Law but unfortunately Muslims are designated by government of Pakistan to issue judgments on Christian Personal Law.”

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He urged that the formation of Christian Personal Law Board Pakistan has become inevitable – so that the religious identity of Christians may be preserved when Christian Judges award verdicts on Christian Personal issues instead of Muslims.

Further delineating the point it was emphasized that Section 7, of Christian Marriage Act 1872, clearly states that the Provincial Government may appoint one or more Christians, either by name or as holding any office for any district subject to its administration in order to register marriages of Christians. The Act further charges the provincial government to appoint a Senior Marriage Registrar in case when there are more than one registrars.

“When there is only one Marriage Registrar in a district, and such Registrar is absent from such district, or, ill, or when his office is temporarily vacant, the Magistrate of the district shall act, as, and be, Marriage Registrar thereof during such absence, illness or temporary vacancy.”

Government has never appointed Christians as Christian Marriage registrars in any district all the while, Muslim magistrates exercise powers in this regard which is blatantly against Personal Law of Christians, he said.