PHC moves to protect inheritance rights

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has said that the provincial government should amend the provincial ombudsman law to protect the rights of women in inheritance and disputed properties.

A bench consisting of Justice Syed Arshad issued a decision on the writ petitions moved by two women pertaining to the deprivation of equal share in inheritance and the sealing of disputed properties.

The TLTP learnt that the court regretted that in spite of being an Islamic country, women were being deprived of inheritance, adding that it was important that the provincial government took steps to allay the grievances and amend the existing laws in this regard.

Subsequently, the court referred the matter to the law department for necessary steps in this regard.

During the hearing, the lawyer of the petitioner, Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik, told the court that the provincial government enacted a law in 2019 called the Enforcement of Women’s Property Rights Act, 2019, under which the provincial ombudsman has been empowered to sell such disputed land or property in which women, especially widows, have been deprived of a share in the inheritance.

However, he said that the decision posed a threat of violation of the basic rights of the parties as in some cases the disputed property is the only source of income for a family.

He further informed the court that in the case at hand, the provincial ombudsman issued a decision on June 18 2021 in which the disputed property was ordered to be sealed.

After the completion of the arguments, the bench declared that the said act did not prescribe a clear procedure regarding the share and distribution of the disputed inheritance.

The decision noted that the law of the provincial ombudsman was silent on certain legal matters.

Therefore, the court sent the matter to the law and justice department with instructions to take appropriate steps in this regard.

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