Chief Court of Gilgit-Baltistan allows minor girl to go with her “husband”

GILGIT: The Chief Court of Gilgit-Baltistan has allowed a minor girl, Falak Noor, to stay with a boy she reportedly married against the will of her parents.

After a final hearing that continued for around two and a half hours today, the court said that the “alleged abductee is allowed to reside wherever she likes”.

The court also ordered Gilgit Polic to provide “security” to the girl.

Terming the court decision controversial, several legal experts and child rights activists have said that decision provides a legal precedent that will encourage minors to elope and marry without their parents’ consent.

A medical board constituted on the court’s order couldn’t give an exact age for the child, Falak Noor, saying that she could be between 13 and 16 years of age, based on medical examinations.

According to NADRA records, the child is 12 years and a few months old.

The Court relied heavily on the statements of the girl, who said that she was 16 years old and had married of “her free will” and that she “wants to live with her husband”.

Falak Noor’s father, Sakhi Ahmad Jan is fighting a legal battle to get her daughter back. He had told the police that his minor daughter was abducted and married off without his consent. He had accused the police officials of colluding with the alleged abductors.

His media statements caused a furor in Gilgit-Baltistan, triggering protest demonstrations in various cities and villages, with people demanding recovery of the child.

Media pressure and protests on the streets forced the police to recover Falak Noor and present her in court last week, after a lapse of almost 3 months; Falak Noor was allegedly “abducted” on January 19, 2024.

Sakhi Ahmad Jan was represented by Ehsan Ali Advocate and Advocate Rashid Omar, among others, while the defendent was represented by Advocate Asad Ullah Khan and team. Advocate Amjad Hussain was appointed by the court as “Amicus Curie”, or an “Impartial Advisor”/Friend of the Court!

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