Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Court Marriage – Causes and Effects

By: Advocate Sadia Tariq

Searching for “Prince Charming” is the dream of every young girl. But, the criteria of choosing their Prince these days are quite divergent from their parents’ choice!
Immature inexperienced girls are often charmed by the physical appearance of the guys who impress girls by their trendy outfits, cool hair styles, latest perfumes and their obsessive conversations. These are enough to impress and trap simple girls coming from average backgrounds.
Guys lure girls for various motives which include acquiring wealth in the form of dowry and more at later stages, using the girls in different negative activities; human-trafficking is one of them. The girls are often trapped and fall prey in the name of love and presumptions of baseless promises.
To escape from the suffocating atmosphere at home, dating under burqas is now quite common. These dates eventually end up with court marriage without the parents’ wishes and consent.

The Process of Court Marriage
Court marriage is not very difficult. The lovebirds simply need to consult a lawyer and engage his services for the processing and documentation of court marriage. They need to provide copies of their National Identity Cards / Form B / Educational Certificate for verification as adults along with two passport size photographs. The process of court marriage requires the girl to physically appear only once within the city court premises to sign her ‘Freewill Affidavit’ and at the same instance her Nikah (marriage) is performed in the presence of four witnesses, which is endorsed / registered by the authorized Nikah Khawan, near the city court’s premises.

Post Court Marriage
Usually after completion of formalities of such marriages, the bride and groom go back to their respective homes and wait for a suitable time to disclose their marriage to their families. In certain cases, blinded by love, the girl runs away with her groom, right after the court marriage with the intention of never returning back to her parents’ house. In some cases, they even take gold ornaments and hefty amount from their parents’ house, which were intended for the girls’ Jahez (dowry).

Reaction towards Court Marriage
It is momentous to mention that the basic elements of a marriage in Islam are simply the proposal, consents and acceptances of the individuals entering into a marriage. If these things exist, then the marriage is legally perfect and no one including parents either of the girl or guy can object to it.
But despite that, in our society mostly parents and other family members especially from the girl’s side come up with vigorous reactions against the said court marriages, which include lodgment of FIR on account of kidnapping/zina/force marriage etc. Some parents file a Petition of Habeas Corpus (Production of a detainee girl in Court for giving her free statement) before the Court. Some parents make the issue as their ego and honour which leads to killing in honour (Karo Kari). In some cases, the spouses, more particularly the bride is pressurized by her parents and other family members to forth-with file a case in Court for dissolution of such marriage.
There are hardly few cases where court marriages survive the family reactions.
In that case, the search of the ideal comes to an end. Now comes the tougher part which is to come out of the fairy tale and live the reality of practical life!

Reality Check

Not just court marriage, but any marriage has to have a reality, but facing the reality after court marriage is tougher.
Any marriage has its demands. But the newlywed girl in a court marriage expects her husband to entertain her in the same way as he used to, prior to their marriage, while the guy also expects the girl to remain madly in love with him like she was before the marriage. From here, the trauma begins and side effects of court marriage start to appear.
To face the realities of a practical life, the emotional support system in the form of parents and siblings is a great blessing. Once this support system is missing, it is very hard for a marriage to survive.
Besides, the choice of a life partner is usually made out of blind love without consent or consultation from parents, or any evaluation of qualification or family background. And hence such marriages end up in a mess. If the parents are involved in marriage decisions, then they always stand in support, which is missing in court marriage. The blessings and duas from all their relatives which are a part of the colorful wedding ceremonies unfortunately cannot be achieved by implementing their legal right of court marriage.
On the other side, the parents are advised to avoid emotional blackmail, make compromises on their enormous expectations towards their children’s relationships, and to properly guide them to reach to a perfect decision with regard to their marriage.

The author is an Advocate & Marriage Counselor and she can be contacted on 0300 - 3337798


  1. Good job Sadia

  2. This Anonymous is me ,Chotie Appa

  3. Excellent piece of work. Its very knowledgeable for the young girls of this era as well enable them to ponder, while taking their decisions of marriage. Keep it up.

    Tariq Qureshi

  4. Due to the mobile phones, internet, print and electronic media, there is more vulnerability hurting the folks belonging to the under-priviledged/have nots/oppressed class of the society, yet there is more awareness now available at finger tips as how to cope with the negative scenarios at the same time.

    ******Your article is a nice read indeed.

    Having some background, I have sympathy for the vulnerable ones.

    Sadia, keep up the good work.
    BTW: Having liked your presentation, I am onboard with you and you may join my blog (current affairs with tariq mian)----thanks a lot.