ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has on Monday made the consent of the Arbitration Council mandatory for second marriage. The IHC declares that if a person does not get permission from Reconciliation court and he gets married on the permission evidence from his first wife, he will be liable to sentence. The court said that the person performing a second marriage without the council’s permission will be punished according to Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961. The IHC’s Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued a 12-page written sentence today, according to which it is mandatory to take arbitration council’s permission prior to a second marriage. “A man who intends to contract another marriage during the subsistence of an existing marriage has to observe the procedure and fulfill the conditions prescribed by the legislature otherwise the consequences of imprisonment or fine or both could ensue,” the court ruled. According to Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961: “During the subsistence of an existing marriage, no man shall contract another marriage except with the previous permission in writing of the arbitration council.” The IHC was hearing a case pertaining to a Kashmiri citizen Liaquat Ali Mir’s acquittal, declaring its earlier decision null and void. The court said that under the Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961, the person doing second marriage without permission is liable to punishment and fine. “The factors required to be taken into consideration by the Arbitration Council in granting permission for contracting a subsequent marriage have been prescribed in subsections (2), (3) and (4) of section 6 of the Ordinance of 1961.” “A husband who contracts another marriage during the subsistence of an earlier one in contravention of the provisions of the Ordinance of 1961 definitely exposes himself of the risk of being imprisoned or fined or to both,”ruled the court, making it mandatory to obtain permission from the Arbitration Council for an already married man before contracting a subsequent marriage. The IHC also nullified the decision of an additional session judge who released a person namely Liaqat Ali Mir in the same case. The aforementioned person married Dilshad Bibi in 2011. Liaqat Ali performed a second marriage in 2013 without the consent of his first wife as well as the Arbitration Council. Liaqat Mir was handed over one-month jail sentence by an Islamabad magistrate for his offense and was fined Rs5,000. An additional session judge released Liaqat Ali afterward on the grounds that he was a native of Azad Kashmir. The Islamabad High Court – after annulling the decision – said in its remarks that all laws are applicable to the person who possesses the national identity card. The IHC further directed the additional session judge to hear the case on merit. The second marriage is registered in Islamabad and the court holds the authority to conduct its hearing, the IHC declared.