In a sign that the row between well-known Muslim seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband and its former rector Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi could escalate, the institution on Monday moved a caveat —essentially a precautionary notice — before the Supreme Court. The Muslim seminary urged the court to notify and hear its version in case Darul's July 24 decision to sack rector Vastanvi were to be legally challenged. The caveat makes it clear that Darul's current administrators anticipate such a move from either Vastanvi or those in his camp. With this, the bitter battle reached the courts, as many had expected.
Darul's supreme adjudicating panel, or the shoora, had voted to oust Vastanvi as rector after he was quoted speaking favourably of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, who Muslims blame for a 2002 pogrom against them.
Though Vastanvi disputed the probe's findings, he said he would not move a court of law.
A source said Darul's surprise caveat in the SC came amid reports that some of Vastanvi's supporters had sought legal opinion from senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan. HT could not independently verify this.
In a statement, Darul Uloom said Vastanvi had been removed after fully observing all procedures required.
Senior SC lawyer Anis Suhrawardy said: "Even if the matter were to be challenged, the SC is not the right place. It would directly admit petitions only in cases where somebody's constitutional or fundamental rights are violated."