The Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently issued a ruling stipulating that prior consent from a man’s first wife or an arbitration council is mandatory before entering into a second marriage. Failure to obtain consent may result in the man being obligated to immediately pay the entire agreed-upon haq mehr (dower) amount to his first wife, regardless of the original payment schedule.
The primary objective of this law is to bring about social reform, as emphasized by the court, which highlighted the potential problems arising from non-compliance with this requirement. The Supreme Court’s order, authored by Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and spanning five pages, was issued in response to an appeal challenging a decision rendered by the Peshawar High Court (PHC).
The PHC had previously ruled that if a man enters into a second marriage without the consent of his first wife, he must promptly pay her the full dower amount.
By affirming the PHC’s decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and directed the petitioner, Muhammad Jameel, who had married without his first wife’s consent, to immediately fulfill his obligation by paying her the complete dower amount agreed upon during their marriage.