Multiplying Zeroes: (In)Validity of Promises in Marriage Contracts under Pakistani Case Law
LUMS Law Journal, Vol. 6 (2019), pp. 1-14
12 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2019
Date Written: September 4, 2019
This article explains how the superior courts in Pakistan have interpreted stipulations in marriage contracts (Nikahnama) in selected cases mostly from 2009 to 2017. The main findings in this article are that in most of the cases, courts have refused to award the stipulated amount in marriage contracts, as compensation or damages or penalty, to be paid to the wife, if she is divorced by her husband or she has asked for khul‘. In some cases, however, courts have declared such stipulations as valid and binding resulting into conflicting decisions on similar issues. In most cases, courts have ruled that the issue of stipulated amount to be paid in case of breach of the contract does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Family Courts. Judges have not delved into the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the opinions of Muslim jurists on this issue that fortify the rights of women. In this way, the courts have often denied the payment of damages to divorced women as stipulated in marriage contracts.
Keywords: stipulations, marriage contract, compensation, Family Courts, jurisdiction, Muslim personal law
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