The Supreme Court has made its decision in the case of the registration of the Christian community’s marriages and will announce it in a few days.
The ruling will be announced in the next five to seven days, said Chief Justice Saqib Nisar while hearing the case on Monday.
The Christian community wants to be able to register its marriages at a union council level because otherwise the contracts have no legal value. “The births of our children are registered at the union councils. However, our weddings are not,” Bishop Shafqat informed the court.
Currently, they are issued a certificate by the church after marriage, but there is no easy way to get registered with the government.
“Their marriages are registered in a different way and this is discriminatory behaviour,” remarked the top judge. It violates Article 25 of the Constitution, which seeks equality for all, he said.
The people who register nikkahs should do the same for members of the Christian community, said Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
The government should facilitate the people, said Justice Nisar. “The entire process should be made easier.”
Additional Advocate General Razzaq A Mirza remarked that the marriages cannot be registered till the Punjab law is amended. Justice Nisar said that the law must be amended to help the Christian community.
Bishop Shafqat said that the marriages should be registered after receiving a letter or a certificate from the church. Eighty percent of Pakistan’s Christian community resides in Punjab, he added.
“The decision seeks to help the people. The court orders must be implemented,” the chief justice said. The Punjab government has been ordered to submit its written reply in the case.