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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday sought assistance from the Bishop of Lahore on a petition challenging the Christian Divorce Act 1869.

The court also appointed two senior advocates as amicus curie (friend of court) and asked them to appear on Feb 16.

A Christian, Ameen Masih, filed the petition saying a family suit of maintenance was pending against him before a civil court. He said he had not been living happily with his wife for the last two years as he did not enjoy good relations with his in-laws.

He said he wanted separation from his wife but he had to accuse her of adultery for the purpose, which she never committed. He said the Christian Divorce Act 1869, required that a Christian could divorce his wife only on the ground of adultery. He said the Act existed since the colonial period.

Also read: Minority lawmakers demand reformed marriage, divorce laws

The petitioner pleaded that Section 10 of the Act was in conflict of various provisions of the Constitution. He asked the court to strike down the impugned section so that the Christian men could divorce their wives in a dignified manner.

During the course of hearing, counsel for the Federal Law Ministry stated that after the 18th Amendment, the provincial government had the right to amend the laws. He pointed out that there were certain other provisions under which a Christian woman could be divorced.

TEACHERS:The Lahore High Court on Friday turned down a request to grant stay against the appointment of three female teachers at Punjab University’s Institute of Business and Information Technology.

Petitioner’s counsel submitted the appointments were made without recommendation of the selection board. He requested the court to declare the appointments illegal. He also sought a stay against these appointments.

However, the counsel for university said the appointments were made on the recommendation of the selection board and an approval would be sought from the syndicate.

The court rejected the plea of interim stay and adjourned hearing of the main case.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2015

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