Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act 1939

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THE DISSOLUTION OF MUSLIM MARRIAGES ACT, 1939

[Act No. VIII of 1939]

( 17th March, 1939 )

An Act to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim Law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by woman, married under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married .Muslim woman on her marriage tie.

WFIEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim Law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by woman married under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman on her marriages tie; it is hereby enacted as follows:‑‑

THE DISSOLUTION OF MUSLIM MARRIAGES ACT, 1939

1. Short title and extent.‑‑( 1) This Act may be called the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.

2[(2) It extends to tile whole of Pakistan ]

2. Grounds for decree for dissolution of marriage.‑‑ A woman married under Muslim Law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:

(i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of 3[one) years;

(ii) that the husband has neglected or has failed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;

4***(ii‑a) that the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;]

(iii) that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 5[three] years or upwards;

***[Inserted by S.13 of Ordinance VIII of 1961.

  1. For Statement of Objects and Reasons, See Gazette of India, 1936, Pt. V. p. 154; for Report of select committee, see ibid, 1939, Pt. V. p. 1.

  2. Subs. by the Central Laws (Statute Reform) Ordinance, 1960 (2) of 1960, S. 3 and 2nd Sch. (w.e.f. 1A.10.1955), for the original sub‑section (2), as amended by A.O., 1949.

  3. Subs. for "four" by Dissolution of Muslim Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1999 (PLJ 1999 Cent. St. 176‑A)

  4. Cl. (i) of Ordinance VIII of 1961.

  5. Subs. for "seven" by Dissolution of Muslim Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1999 (PLd 1999 Cent St. 176‑A).

(iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;

(v) that the husband was important at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;

(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two year] or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;

(vii) that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of ****[sixteen] years, repudicated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years"

Provided that marriage has not been consummated:

****[inserted by S.13 of Ordinance VIII of 1961]

*****[(viia) Lian;

Explanation : Lian means where the husband has accused his wife of zina and the wife does not accept the accusation as true.]

*****[Inserted by the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendments) Act 2006 [VI of 2006] Dated 2^nd^ December 2006 ]

(viii) that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say:‑‑

(a) 8[habitually] assaults her or makes her life miserable by curelty of conduct even. if such conduct does not amount to physical ill‑treatment; or

(b) associates with women of evil repute or leads en infamous life; or

(c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral life; or

(d) disposes of her property or prevents her from exercising her legal rights over it; or

(e) obstructs her in the observance of her religious profession or practice; or

(f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat here equitably in accordance with the Injunctions of the Qur'an;

[(ix) that the husband is temperamentally incompatible and the wife is unable to live with him.

(x) that husband and wife have been separated from each other for over a year and reconciliation efforts have failed.]

(xi) on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriage under Muslim Law:

Provided that‑‑

(a) no decree shall be passed on ground (iii) until the sentence has become final;

9[(b) a decree passed on ground (i) shall not take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorized

  1. Subs. for "two years "by Dissolution of Muslim Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1999

(PLJ 1999 Cent. St. 176‑A).

  1. Subs. for "fifteen by the Muslim Family Law Ordinance, 1961 (VIII of 1961), S. 13,

(w.e.f. 15.7.1961).

  1. Subs. by Dissolution of Muslim Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1999 (PLJ 1999 Cent.

  2. Deleted by Dissolution of Muslim Marriage (Amendment) Act, 1999 (PLJ 1999 Cent.

. agent within that period and satisfies the Court that he is

prepared to perform his conjugal duties; the Court shall set

aside the said decree; and

(c) before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to.satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfies the Court within such period no decree shall be passed on the said ground.

3. Notice to be served on heirs of the husband when the husband's whereabouts are not known.‑‑ In a suit to which clause (i) of section 2 applies:‑‑

(a) the name and addresses of the persons who would have been the heirs of the husband under Muslim Law if he had died on the date of the filing of the plaint shall be stated in the plaint.

(b) notice of the suit shall be served on such persons; and

(c) such persons shall have the right to be heard in the suit.

Provided that paternal uncle‑and brother of the husband, if any, shall be party even if he or they are not heirs.

**4. Effect of conversion to another faith.‑‑**The renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman or her conversion to a faith other than Islam shall not by itself operate to dissolve her marriage.

Provided that after such renunciation, or conversion the woman shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any of the grounds mentioned in section 2.

Provided further that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a woman converted to Islam from some other faith who re‑embraces her former faith.

5. Rights to dower not to be affected.‑‑Nothing contained in this Act shall affect any right which a marriage woman may have under Muslim Law to her dower or any part thereof on the dissolution of her marriage.

6. Repeal o f S. 5 o f Act, 1LYVI o f 1937 ,

(Rep. by the Repealing and Amendment Act, 1942 (XXV of 1942), S. 2 and First Sch.

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