The Senate passed three bills on Monday, including the Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill 2020. The bill gives mothers the right of custody of minors in case of separation between parents. The ‘real’ mother’s right to custody of her children is addressed in section 19-A, which has been added alongside sections 19-B through 19-G.

PPP Senator Farooq H Naek introduced the bill in the upper house of Parliament. Despite the government’s reservations over the non-inclusion of the Council of Islamic Ideology’s recommendations in the proposed legislation, it was passed by a majority vote.

Naek said the proposed amendment bill would ensure custody of male and female children to divorcee/widow mothers, up to the age of seven and 16 years respectively.


According to the bill, “In absence of the real mother, or if she renounces her right or her right is legally held to have lapsed, the custody of her son less than seven years of age and of her daughter who has not attained the age of puberty or 16 years shall vest successively in the female relatives in the following order: maternal grandmother however so high in degree, paternal grandmother however so high in degree, full sister, uterine sister, consanguine sister, full sister’s daughter, uterine sister’s daughter, consanguine sister’s daughter, mother’s sister and father’s sister.”

“When none of the women, eligible for custody under sections 19A and 19B, are available or willing to accept it or such a woman is disentitled to Hizanat, the male relatives shall then become eligible for the custody of the child in the following order: father, maternal grandfather however so high in degree, paternal grandfather however so high in degree, full brother, uterine brother, consanguine brother, full brother’s son, uterine brother’s son and consanguine brother’s son.”

The bill from the Senate, will now go to the National Assembly for a vote to be passed into law.