ISLAMABAD: The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) while taking suo motu notice of the forced marriage of a six-year-old girl in Balochistan on Monday sought a report from the provincial government.

An FSC bench comprising Chief Justice Dr Syed Mohammad Anwer and Justice Khadim Hussain M. Shaikh took up an application regarding the forced child marriage.

When the law officer of Balochistan submitted a report regarding the incident, he was asked about the steps being taken by the provincial legislature to prevent child marriage and as well as the forced marriage.

He submitted a partial report of the Khuzdar police and social welfare department of Balochistan and expressed his ignorance of the current status of the draft law concerning the child marriages.

Seeks detailed report on legislation passed to prevent such cases

The court directed the law officer to submit a detailed report regarding such legislation and the draft for such legislation on or before next date of hearing.

Further hearing on the matter was later adjourned till Nov 28.

In another petition, the FSC dismissed the petition against House Building Finance Corporation Act.

The petition challenged Sections 28, 29 and 30 of the House Building Finance Corporation Act 1952 for being repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.

Assistant Attorney General told the court that the Act of 1952 had already been repealed vide the House Building Finance Corporation (Repeal) Act, 2018.

The court ruled that since the impugned law has already been repealed, therefore, the petition in hand became infructuous and is accordingly dismissed.

However, it noted with dismay that the law under discussion i.e. the Act of 2018 was virtually a one-liner law, yet it suffered from a serious mistake of legislative drafting, which practically defeated the very cause of its promulgation.

The state could not afford even a slightest error in drafting of laws, as it may cause serious legal complications, the court observed.

The bench directed the law and justice secretary to ensure special care in drafting of legislation, keeping in view the sensitivity attached thereto, as a mistake of only one word, as happened in the subject legislation, may defeat its very purpose.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2022

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