Domestic Violence Laws In Pakistan

Domestic violence has been a matter of great concern in Pakistan. Due to the Patriarchal social system in Pakistan, women are the ones who mainly fall victim to domestic violence abuses. Since the 1970s the criminal justice system in many states began to treat domestic violence as a serious crime and not as a private family matter.

In Pakistan, a Domestic Violence Protection bill was proposed in 2009 which was passed in the National Assembly but subsequently failed to be passed by the Senate, within the prescribed period of time. The bill faced much criticism by religious and political parties who criticized the bill to be aiding in increasing divorce rates, being against the principles of Islam and an attempt to promote Western cultures. After the Eighteenth Amendment, the matter pertaining to the bill became a provincial issue.

Sindh was the first province to pass legislation with regards to Domestic Violence. The Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2013 was promulgated to ensure protection to victims of Domestic Violence. The Act defines domestic violence as, “Domestic Violence includes but is not limited to, all acts of gender based and other physical or psychological abuse committed by a respondent against women, children or other vulnerable persons, with whom the respondent is or has been in a domestic relationship”. There is a long list of offences which come under domestic violence in the aforesaid Act and most of the punishments of these offences are governed by the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860. However, the punishments for some offences are set out under the Act which are emotional, psychological and verbal abuse, stalking, sexual abuse, tress pass and economic abuse. The punishments vary for each offence as set out under the Act.

Subsequently, legislations were passed by Balochistan: The Balochistan Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act, 2014 and by Punjab: The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence act 2016. While the legislations passed by Sindh and Balochistan provides protection to victims of domestic violence including women, children, vulnerable person or people in domestic relationship, the legislation passed by Punjab only provides protection to women who are victims to domestic violence.

Nonetheless, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has still not passed any laws regarding Domestic Violence. Even though the Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention and Protection) Bill-2019 is present in the assembly but it is facing resistance from religious and political parties.

Despite the fact that Domestic Violence has been given its due recognition much later by the Provincial Governments in Pakistan these legislations will protect the rights of victims who are subject to domestic violence and will curb the domestic abuses prevailing in our society.

Enforcement Of Environmental Laws Through Public Interest Litigation

Dr. Syed Raza Ali Gardezi, General Secretary of Citizen for Environment, has filed a Criminal Complaint through Lexway Law Firm, before The Sindh Environmental Protection Tribunal, against the Ex-Director General of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Mr. BaqaullahUnner, the present Director of SEPA as well as other officers of SEPA and the Builder of Shaz Residency Mr. Muhammad Sami for illegally granting NOC for the Construction of Shaz Residency,a commercial-cum-residential multistory building on a 2 (two) Acre Plot No. A, Sector 15-A, Scheme No. 33, Karachi. SEPA has granted the NOC without inviting public hearing / objection and in contravention of The Sindh Environmental Protection Act, 2014.  

On 31-01-2020 a Full Bench of The Sindh Environmental Protection Tribunal has admitted the complaint and issued notices for 11-02-2020 to the accused persons to face the criminal trial.

Public Interest Litigation

Our Law Firm filed a constitutional petition through our attorney Mr. Farhat Ullah, advocate. This was a public interest litigation challenging the selection and recommendation of a candidate for the post of registrar of the Sindh Environment Protection Tribunal (SEPT).

The purpose of this petition was to ensure good governance and selection of government officials on the basis of merit. Lexway has been involved in a lot of public interest litigations previously for the purposes of raising social and legal awareness towards the masses.

Lexways initiative to raise such awareness has also been highlighted by media and reported in newspapers. Our recent PIL mentioned above was also reported in Dawn Newspaper. The link of which is mentioned below.


The Correct Way of Giving Talaq

Talaq, is a form of divorce under Muslim personal law, and is given by (or on behalf of) the husband to the wife and the effect of talaq is that it annuls the nikkah i.e. marriage.


  • The talaq given by a sane, married adult will be valid.
  • The talaq given during sleep will be invalid.
  • The talaq given during the state of intoxication will be valid.
  • The wife can, if given the authority under the nikkahnama, the marriage agreement, can pronounce the talaq on behalf of the husband.
  • The talaq given in the state of anger will be valid; the reasoning behind this is that no one would ordinarily give talaq in a state of happiness.

Legal Requirements

While traditionally the talaq could be given orally, it is now a requirement under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, and the judgment of the Supreme Court in Farah Naz v. Family Court, Sahiwal (PLD 2006 SC 457) that the talaq must be given in writing, and a copy of the same should be forwarded to the concerned Union Council.

Making laws more accessible

For making the laws of Pakistan more accessible to everyone, we have created a new section on our website dedicated to Statutes. We have started uploading commonly used statutes, acts, ordinances and rules after reviewing them to make them available and more accessible for everyone to find and read them.

These statutes are being uploaded in PDF format to allow for a more consistent reading experience across a range of devices.

The page shall be continuously updated. If you are looking for a piece of Pakistani legislation and are unable to find it, feel free to contact us, and we’ll be glad to help.

Child Marriages

Child marriage is a violation of human rights. It is a global issue as it has been destroying the lives and future of many children. Due to the devastating impact of early marriage on the lives of children, it has been strictly forbidden by the law. According to UNICEF: ‘child marriage is a form of violence against children.’

Even though child marriages are common in both the genders, girls contribute to the vast majority and they are affected adversely. Early marriage is an outright denial of basic rights. It refuses girls the right to make important decisions related to their life, health and well-being. This makes them more vulnerable to mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Child brides suffer various difficulties and they have long lasting consequences. Young married girls are not physically mature enough for sexual intercourse or child birth. They are more prone to pregnancy related problems that can lead to lifelong complications. These complications are a leading cause of death in young mothers. Not only do the young mothers suffer but it is also life threatening for the offspring. Young brides are also more likely to suffer from sexually transmitted infections like HIV. Child marriage forces girls out of education. Education is crucial for girls to make informed decisions related to their sexual health and welfare. By snatching away their rights to develop themselves and to learn and understand their capabilities and potentials we are just creating individuals that will always be dependent on others for everything. We are disempowering these girls and by doing so we are hindering the progress of our future. With every young girl being married off early and being compelled to leave education, we all suffer. We lose a potential future doctor, engineer, teacher, business woman, politician or a leader.

The price each one of us has to pay for every child bride is enormous. As it is said, ‘if you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’ The education of the whole nation is at stake. Therefore, ending child marriage is essential for the prosperity and stability of our country.

Cousin Marriages

Cousin marriages are customary in few parts of the world. This trend should be discouraged as it has detrimental effects on the future generation. This established cultural tradition of marriage within families increases the risk of children being born with birth defects which ultimately leads to a rise in the death rates in such communities.
Every human receives one copy of each gene from their parent. If both the parents are linked, they might have a similar variant of that gene (allele). In cases where the gene codes for a disease process and both the parents have the same gene, the child is bound to get the disease.Children from cousin marriages undergo numerous problems. They are more prone to various issues which include congenital malformations, blindness and deafness, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Down’s syndrome, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, blood ailments, various cancers and many other such complications which may also include some incurable and complex disorders.

Children from cousin marriages undergo numerous problems. They are more prone to various issues which include congenital malformations, blindness and deafness, learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Down’s syndrome, metabolic disorders, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia, blood ailments, various cancers and many other such complications which may also include some incurable and complex disorders.

Cousin marriages is a sensitive issue as it has been a tradition since ages. While people associate benefits such as social and marital stability with it, this custom can come at a high price. It is essential that people understand the gravity of this situation and take steps to prevent this. Parents who are related should get tested to check if their genes carry any mutations that their child may inherit so they can prevent their children from undergoing severe disabilities or early death.

It is the duty of every citizen to promote a healthy society. It is our responsibility to make ourselves aware and to work for a better and healthier future for our offspring and the community at large.