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Islamic scholar defends ruling

delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2009 01:39 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times
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Muslim religiou leaders should desist from unhealthy criticism of the Supreme Court, Islamic scholar and Law Commission member Tahir Mahmood said of what he described as Urdu press’s tirade against a judge of the court.

“Muslim religious leaders and their blind followers must avoid making unhealthy criticism of the country’s apex court,” Mahmood said, talking about the widespread criticism of Justice Markande Katju in the Urdu press.

The SC recently dismissed a Muslim boy’s petition challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court order refusing him to sport beard in a Christian minority school. Dismissing the petition of Md Salim, Justice Katju had said secularism couldn’t be overstretched and “Talibinasation” not allowed in India.

The remarks created uproar in the Muslim community and Urdu media reported protests from all over the country.

Disapproving the criticism, Mahmood told HT, “… The judiciary in India is favourably disposed towards the minorities… but it can’t be compelled to always side with the conservative thinking on controversial religious issues.”

“Religious people do not trust legal scholars within the community and by propagating their flawed understanding of the Constitution and court judgments, they provoke unrest among the Muslims against the country's legal and judicial system”, Mahmood said.

He said Justice Katju had not pronounced any general verdict on the Muslims’ right to keep beard. “The case was decided in a particular context. As one minority obviously cannot be allowed to exercise its religious freedom in the institutions belonging to another minority..., the decision in this case is beyond reproach,” he said.