LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) taking notice of the non-implementation of its guidelines to curb child marriages referred the matter of a girl to the deputy director of local government and community development of Gujranwala for taking action against the delinquent marriage registrar.

The court passed this order in a habeas corpus petition of Azmat Bibi seeking recovery of her underage daughter Neha from the custody of her husband.

The court; however, dismissed the petition and allowed the girl to go wherever she desired as she wanted to live with her husband, Qasim, who was also present in the court.

Sheikhupura police had recovered the alleged detained from the house of the respondent. When produced before the court, the girl denied the charges of kidnapping and said she wanted to live with her husband.

The court observed that apparently, the marriage registrars, without relying upon any document, mentioned the bride's age as 18 years or above in clear violation of the law.

The court; however, noted that directions issued by the LHC in a 2023 judgment and the SOPs formed by the local government of Punjab are still not being followed by the Nikah registrars to eliminate the violation of the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, and hence referred the matter for taking action against the delinquent registrar.

The petitioner alleged that her daughter was not legally major to contract marriage. She stated that her daughter had been kidnapped by Muhammad Qasim and forced into an illegal marriage.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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