On 2nd November 2017, a historic decision was taken a lower court in Pakistan while binding with the law and order which was rather not followed earlier.
The prosecution, Ayesha Bibi and her lawyer won the case against the defendant, her husband, Shahzad Saqib who remarried for the second time without the approval of his wife.
According to the Quran, a man is allowed to marry four times. However, he needs to permission of his current wife/wives in taking the decision. Mr. Shahzad Saqib did not bind by the religious ruling which formulates the Family Law 2015.
According to Ayesha Bibi, “To get married without your first wife’s permission is breaking the law,” to which the defendant’s counter-argument was that he did not need the wife’s permission as the religion allows it already. The court rejected the defendant’s appeal and sentenced him to jail for six months while penalizing rs. 200,000.
According to female activists, this ruling embarks the better and just future for Pakistani women. In an interview with Reuters Foundation, Romana Bashir of Peace and Development NGO stated, “It is encouraging that a wronged woman has used this law to complain to the court. The decision augurs well for women’s empowerment,”
On the other hand, the chair of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women Fauzia Viqar believes that the decision strengthens the presence of a woman in such a society. “The decision sets an important precedent. It will discourage polygamy and encourage women to take up their case with the courts. It will create awareness among people, in general, and women, in particular. Wronged women using this law will lead to their empowerment,”
The first of the many steps taken by the judiciary – while the religion may allow a man to remarry, the consent of his current wife is extremely important.