What are the Salient Features Of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961

(1) Introduction

Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 applies to all Muslims, who are residing whether in Pakistan or at any place outside Pakistan. It reveals that this ordinance has extra-territorial application. For its application, separate courts have been established and such courts possess jurisdiction to try matrimonial controversies.

(2) Salient Features Of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961

Followings are salient features of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961:

(i) Arbitration Council

(ii) Succession

(iii) Registration of marriage

(iv) Polygamy

(v) Talaq

(vi) Dissolution of marriage otherwise than by talaq

(vii) Maintenance

(viii) Dower

 

(i) Arbitration Council

Under this ordinance, Arbitration Council has been established. Chairman of Union Council makes Arbitration Council and Arbitration Council consists of Chairman and a representative of each party. This council is to deal with husband’s application to obtain permission for second marriage, proceeding on notice of divorce, and proceeding on wife’s application for maintenance.

(ii) Succession

Before enactment of this ordinance, grand children were not entitled to inheritance of their grandparents in case of death of either of their parents. However, this ordinance has declared entitlement of grand children to such inheritance.

(iii) Registration Of Marriage

This ordinance has decided that marriage should be solemnized according principles of Islam and marriage should be registered. For registration of marriage this ordinance has empowered Union Council to appoint Nikha registrar, and such registrar is to register marriage.

(iv) Polygamy

This ordinance has made it compulsory that husband should file an application to Arbitration Council to obtain permission for second marriage. In such application, it is essential that husband should not only state reasons for proposed marriage, but he should also state whether consent of existing wife or wives has been obtained for proposed marriage. According punishment if he conducts second marriage without permission of arbitration council.

(v) Talaq

Under this ordinance, any man, who wishes to divorce his wife, should give Chairman of Union Council a written notice of talaq, and should also supply a copy of such notice to wife. It has also been decided that husband will be liable to imprisonment or fine or both if husband acts against provision of this ordinance about talaq, and that talaq will become effective after ninety days from receiving of notice of talaq by chairman of Union Council.

(vi) Dissolution Of Marriage Otherwise Than By Talaq

According to this ordinance, if divorce is given through some mode, which is other than talaq, same procedure, which is adopted for giving talaq under this ordinance, should be adopted.

(vii) Maintenance

Under this ordinance, if husband fails to maintain his wife adequately, wife can not only seek any other available legal remedy, but can also apply to Chairman of Union Council. After filing of such application, Chairman should constitute an Arbitration Council to determine the matter, and Arbitration Council can issue a certificate, which specifies that amount, which should be paid as maintenance by husband.

(viii) Dower

It has been decided in this ordinance that entire amount of dower should be presumed to be payable on demand when no details about mode of payment of dower are specified in nikahnama or marriage contract.

(3) Conclusion

To conclude, it can be stated that there are though some salient features of this ordinance, yet a criticism is that some provisions of this ordinance are not in accordance to Islamic law. For example, it is not essential in Islamic law that husband can only conduct second marriage with permission of Arbitration Council or existing wife. But such permission has been made compulsory under this ordinance.

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