Honourable Justice BABAR SATTAR of the The Islamabad High Court Issuing a written order on the plea of a woman seeking recovery of her 16-year-old daughter who had filed an affidavit to say she had tied the knot of her own free will. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared the marriage of anyone under 18 years of age as being unlawful.
A child is defined as a person who has not attained the age of 18 years. A child is required to be placed in somebody’s care whether it is a parent or guardian or other caregiver appointed on behalf of the state.
A female child below the age of 18 cannot be deemed competent to freely grant her consent to enter into a marriage contract merely because she manifests the physical symptoms of having attained puberty.
A marriage contract in which one of the parties is a child under the age of 18 is therefore a contract executed for an unlawful purpose and having no legal effect. Such marriage contract cannot be registered under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.
No one can engage in sexual conduct in any form with a child and neither can any person invite or entice a child to engage in sexual conduct in any form, and any invitation or enticement provided to a child to engage in sexual conduct, even under the cloak of marriage, would fall within the definition of sexual abuse in terms of section 377A.
Read the Islamabad High Court Full Judgement on Writ Petition No. 4227 OF 2021: Mst. Mumtaz Bibi Vs Qasim and others
Announced in the open Court on 09.02.2022