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Karachi

January 24, 2016

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Court declares 16-year-old converted girl’s marriage valid

SHC allows Shabana who converted to Islam from Hinduism and married a Muslim man to live with her husband

Karachi

The Sindh High Court declared on Saturday the marriage of a 16-year-old girl, who had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man in Nawabshah, valid under the Mohammadan law and allowed her to live with her husband.

The directives came on a petition filed by the girl, Shabana, who sought the quashment of a kidnapping case against her spouse, Ali Gul.  

She submitted that she had willingly converted to Islam on October 5 and married Gul, but her family was annoyed over her move and registered a case against her spouse.

She sought the quashment of the case and protection against harassment at the hand of her family. 

The court had earlier observed that the petitioner seemed to be a minor and ordered that she be shifted to a shelter home and a medical board formed to determine her age.

The board was of the opinion that girl is between 18 and 19 years old however the court did not express satisfaction on its report. It had directed the Civil Hospital Medical Karachi superintendent to include a senior gynecologist in the medical board.

The new board suggested that girl was between 15 and 16 years.

The counsel for the girl’s father submitted that the petitioner was a minor and her marriage with Gul was illegal in accordance with Section 4 of the Hindu Guardianship Act 1956.

The court observed that the contention of the respondent had no force as the petitioner had attained the age of puberty as was evident from the medical board’s report and she had voluntarily converted to Islam without any pressure.

The court observed that it had already been held by the Supreme Court that a girl having attained the age of puberty could marry a person of her choice and such a marriage was valid under the Mohammadan Law.

The court, after hearing the arguments of the counsel, observed that petitioner had voluntarily converted to Islam on October 4 and her nikah was solemnised on October 5 in accordance with the Mohammadan Law with her spouse and as such she was entitled to live with her spouse.

The court allowed the petition of Shabana and directed the shelter home to release her. The court directed the investigation officer to submit a copy of its judgement before the magistrate concerned and obtain the relevant order with regard to the disposal of the case.

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