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DISSOLUTION OF MUSLIM MARRIAGES ACT, 1939

An Act to consolidate and clarify

the provisions of Muslim Law relating to

suits for dissolution of marriage by women married

under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married woman on her marriage tie.

Whereas it is expedient to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim Law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by women married under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman on her marriage; it is hereby enacted as follows:

 

1.                  Short title and extent.

(1)    This Act may be called the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.

(2)    It extends to all the provinces and the Capital of the Federation.

 

2.                  Grounds for decree for dissolution of marriage.

A woman married under Muslim Law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:

(i)         That the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of  1[one] years;

(ii)        That the husband has neglected or has filed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;

(ii-A)     That the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance,     1961;

(iii)        That the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 2[three] years or upwards;

(iv)        That the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of 3[one] years;

(v)         That the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;

(vi)        That the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;

(vii)        That she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of sixteen years,     repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years:

Provided that the marriage has not been consummated;

(viii)           That the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say,

(a)        4[..] assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment, or

(b)        Associates with women of evil repute of leads an infamous life, or

(c)            Attempts to force her to lead an immoral life, or

(d)            Disposes of her property or prevents her

exercising her legal rights over it, or

(e)       Obstructs her in the observance of her religious

 profession or practice, or

 (f)       If he has more wives than one, does not treat her

equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran,

5[“(ix)   That the husband is temperamentally incompatible and the wife is unable to live with him.  on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriages under Muslim Law,

(x)        That husband and wife have been separated from each other for over a year and reconciliation efforts have failed.” ]

Provided that:

(a)        No decree passed on ground (i) shall take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorised agent within that period and satisfies the Court he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties the Court shall set aside the said decree; and

 (b)     Before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfied the Court within such period, no decree shall be passed on the said ground.

 

Legal Amendments

 

1.                    Substituted by Senate Bill No. IV of 1999

2.                    Substituted  ibid

3.                    Substituted  ibid

4.                    Deleted  ibid

5.                    Inserted by Senate Bill No. IV of 1999

Proviso (a)  and (b)  deleted By  Senate Bill No. IV of 1999 {deleted Proviso reads as under :

Provided that:

(a)        No decree passed on ground (i) shall take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorised agent within that period and satisfies the Court he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties the Court shall set aside the said decree; and

 (b)     Before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfied the Court within such period, no decree shall be passed on the said ground. }

 

Court Decisions

 

Dissolution of marriage on allegation of adultery—If husband had charged his wife with adultery, wife would be entitled to claim judicial divorce without any prejudice to her right to bring defamatory suit for unjust infraction—Husband was required to substantiate his accusation of adultery against wife by producing four witnesses, but if no evidence, except himself was available, he could take an oath or liar—If wife declined and also took oath, Court must separate them as the sexual union had become unlawful and under such circumstances, decree of divorce could not be avoided by husband by his retraction of 'charge as no chance of retraction would be allowed to husband—Retraction would amount to acknowledgment by husband and he could be punished for that.

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