ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ruled that paying mehr (dower) to wives is mandatory before contracting a second marriage without taking permission from the first wife.
This decision comes from the Supreme Court after a man by the name of Muhammad Jamil filed a petition against the 2018 Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict regarding a suit filed by his ex-wife Sajida Bibi seeking recovery of Mehr.
The two judge bench comprising of Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi ruled that Muhammad Jamil was required to pay the Mehr since he entered into a second marriage without the permission of Sajida Bibi, whom he was married at the time.
The court pointed towards Section 6 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 which makes it mandatory for husbands to take permission from the first wife or arbitration council in case of the second marriage.
The said section reads, “Any man who contracts another marriage without the permission of the Arbitration Council shall pay immediately the entire amount of dower whether prompt or deferred, due to the existing wife or wives which amount, if not so paid shall be recoverable as arrears of land revenue.”
According to the court, the law has been put in place to avoid problems in society. the Supreme Court pointed out that there was no restriction on a second marriage but only required permission from the first wife.
The petition was subsequently dismissed while the Supreme Court ruled that the verdict of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) regarding immediate payment of Mehr (dower) was in accordance with the law.