Supreme Court to be moved against restoration of Section 7 of Christian Divorce Act

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A Christian leader Samuel Payara, decides to move the Apex Court over the restoration of Section 7 of the Christian Divorce Act of 1869. On May 23, Monday , the Lahore High Court had reinstated Section 7 which provides legal cushion for Christians men to divorce their wives even without the adultery charges.

Pakistan Christians angry over restoration of Section 7 of Christian Divorce Act

Section 7 of Christian Divorce Act 1869, authorizes any Christian couple to move the court to declare their marriage null and void, in accordance with the procedures embraced by Britain; which allows Christian couples to file for divorce disavowing Biblical teachings.

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On Monday, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the ruling over the petition filed by Amin Masih, a Christian citizen of Pakistan who sought restoration of Section 7, as he wished to divorce his wife, who did not fit in the charges of adultery. Section 10 was previously barring him from divorcing his wife, but, now after the restoration of Section 7 he can legally divorce his wife.

In 1981, Section 10 was introduced by General Zia-ul-Haq, which annulled section 7 of the Christian Divorce Act 1869. Section 7 was omitted on the plea that the Biblical teachings did not allow Christian couples to part ways on grounds other than charges of “Adultery.”

Amin Masih’ counsel Sheraz Zaka argued that Section 7 of the “Christian Divorce Act 1869” should be restored according to which “the traditions of the England courts would apply as far as family/divorce issues of Christians are concerned.” He said, “At present, there is only one ground available under Section 10 of the Divorce Act 1869 and that is the charge of adultery only, which is in conflict with the dignity of a woman.”

He went on to say that not allowing Christian couple’ to part ways on mutual consent was violation of Article 9 and 14 of the Constitution. He argued that Christian in the country should have same rights as anywhere else in the world, “where a Christian man and his wife can part their ways on reasonable grounds, rather leveling false allegations of adultery on each other.”