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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court observed that a court should not take upon itself the responsibility of comparing the disputed signature or thumb impression with that of the admitted signature or thumb impression to find out whether the two are identical.

The court said that the prudent course is to obtain the opinion and assistance of an expert and leave the matter to the wisdom of experts.

The court passed these observations on a petition of one Ahmed Mahmood challenging the decision of an appellant court which decided the matter after comparison of thumb impression itself.

The court remanded the case to the appellate court and directed to dispose of the matter within two months after conducting comparison of thumb impression of the petitioner on the impugned agreement (Kabeennama) and a power of attorney through expert agency and provision of opportunity of cross-examination. The court said that in the instant case, the appellate court has carried out the comparison, with naked eye without ascertaining other characteristics, similarities and dissimilarities.

By doing so, the appellate court has fallen in grave error as comparison of thumb impression through naked eye is highly susceptible to subjective comparison, which does not aid the cause of administration of justice, the court added.

The court held that such comparison by a court without the assistance of any expert, has always been considered to be hazardous and risky and as a matter of extreme caution and judicial sobriety. According to the details marriage of the petitioner with respondent was solemnized on April 15, 2006, however, Rukhsati was not affected and same took place later.

The respondent demanded her dower etc, when the petitioner was to leave for Saudi Arabia at which the petitioner ousted the respondent from the house.

The respondent filed a suit for return of dowry articles after she came to know that the petitioner has conducted second marriage.

The court after framing issues, inter alia, in respect of the entitlement of respondent to grant of the dower mentioned in an agreement (Kabeennama), the trial court partially decreed the suit of respondent for maintenance as well as dowry articles and her claim to the extent of twenty lac rupees on account of second marriage as well as dower was dismissed.

The petitioner approached the court against the decision and court remanded the case to the appellate court for afresh decision on merit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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