Lahore High Court dismisses a petition seeking change in Christian Marriage Act

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Christian marriage

A petition seeking reforms in Christian Marriage Act of 1872, brushed off by Lahore High Court.

In keeping with details, a petitioned filed in the Lahore High Court seeking reforms in the Christian Marriage Act of 1872, gets disposed of on Friday, November 13. The Lahore High Court while hearing the case remarked that it was a matter of national policy and that the court will not interfere in country’s policy matters.

The petition was filed by Bishop Dr Jan Nisar Asif. The petitioner had maintained in the petition that the Christian marriage law of colonial epoch does not meet with the contemporary requirements and there is a need to update the act. Under this act, Bishop Dr. Jan Nisar stated that the Act amounts to discrimination against Christians in Pakistan.

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Explaining his claim he stated that the Christian licence holders authorized to grant certificates of marriage between Pakistani Christians need to get their permits renewed after every five years. Moreover, he maintained that the act also sets matriculation as the minimum qualification required to get a license for certifying the Christian marriages. He claimed that these conditions are not applicable to Muslims, thus these conditions are unfair.

During this hearing, the Secretary of Department of Human Rights also appeared before the court. He told the court that the government has already taken amendments to this act into consideration. He continued that representatives of Christian community were taken into confidence over this issue, while he also presented before the court a report over the meeting with Christian representatives.

After hearing the case, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that it was a matter of country’s policy and it is not suitable for the court to intervene in the policy matters, thus sent off the petition.