Supreme Court rules husband bound to pay mehr whenever demanded by wife

ISLAMABAD  -  The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared that the ‘haq mehr’ (dower) has to be paid to a woman whenever she demanded it from her husband. 

The court imposed a fine worth Rs100,000 on petitioner for six-year delay in payment of the ‘mehr’ amount to his wife and also directed him to pay the expenditures of litiga­tion to the woman. 

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa issued the three-page written order in an appeal filed by a citizen Khalid Pervaiz. The order said that ‘mehr’ is an Islamic concept and it is specifically recognised by the law of Pakistan. It has to be paid whenever demanded by the wife, it added. The order said that the mehr (dower) can be demanded during the subsistence of the marriage, and that the hus­band is under an obligation to pay it.

It said that the woman had to file a suit for recovery of the ‘mehr ‘ and maintenance, and the petitioner unnecessari­ly involved her in litigation, which reached this Court after six and half years. 

The court said that this kind of frivolous litigation is para­lysing the judicial system of the country. The petitioner took up an untenable defence, and perpetuated it probably be­cause costs were not imposed upon him and the courts did not insist that the decision of the Family Court should first be complied with before entertaining a challenge to it.

It said that if a decision was challenged it did not mean that it became ineffective, and needed not be complied with. The SC said that there was no justification to as­sail the decision of the high court, which was in accor­dance with the law. Therefore, leave to appeal had been declined and this petition was dismissed. “Therefore, in addition to imposing costs throughout we impose com­pensatory costs to the extent of one hundred thousand rupees on the petitioner considering the decrease in the value of money. If the ‘mehr’ and said costs are not paid the Family Court shall execute this order, which may in­clude attachment of the properties of the petitioner,” it concluded.

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