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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

SC has not banned Shariat courts: Darul Uloom Deoband lawyer

ANI  New Delhi, July 07, 2014
First Published: 15:16 IST(7/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:45 IST(7/7/2014)

The lawyer for the Darul Uloom Deoband on Monday said the Supreme Court not only allowed the continuance of Shariat courts, but also disposed off the writ petition questioning their constitutional validity.

The apex court said a Shariat court, issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, has no sanction of law and has no legal status.

Read: Shariat courts have no legal status, fatwas are illegal, says Supreme Court

The apex court also said there is "no doubt" that such a court has no legal status while noting that in some cases, orders were being passed by them which violate human rights and punish innocent persons.

A bench headed by justice CK Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing the innocent and ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affects rights of a person who is not before it.
 
"They (Supreme Court) have not declared that the Shariat courts are unconstitutional, or they cannot run. The writ petition was that they should be stopped from running a parallel judiciary," Shakeel Ahmed Syed said.
 
The apex court which had reserved its judgment in the case in February this year, said no religion is allowed to curb anyone's fundamental rights.

The SC also added there is no legal binding on anyone to accept a fatwa issued by the Shariat courts.

Its ruling comes after a petition challenging the legality of Shariat courts was filed by a Delhi-based lawyer, Vishwa Lochan Madan, in 2005.

In his petition, he stated that institutions like the Darul Qaza and the Darul-iftaa are operating like parallel courts, which take decisions on the fundamental rights of Muslims.

He also reportedly said that religious clerics qazis and muftis appointed by them cannot take a call on the liberty of Muslims by issuing fatwas and curtailing their fundamental rights.

The petitioner further argued that the Darul Qaza and the Darul-iftaa operate in Muslim dominated districts where people cannot oppose the rulings.

Citing an example, the petitioner said a Muslim girl had to desert her husband because a fatwa directed her to live with her father-in-law who had allegedly raped her.


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