AIMPLB, DUD to seek more time from apex court
THE ALL-INDIA Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Darul Uloom Deoband (DUD) have decided to seek more time from the Supreme Court on Monday in the Darul Qaza (Shariat court) and fatwa case.india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 00:38 IST
THE ALL-INDIA Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Darul Uloom Deoband (DUD) have decided to seek more time from the Supreme Court on Monday in the Darul Qaza (Shariat court) and fatwa case.
While admitting a petition challenging the validity of Shariat courts and fatwas in August 2005, the apex court had issued notices to the AIMPLB and the DUD to clear their stand on the issue. The legal cell of the board and the DUD members held a meeting in Delhi on Sunday to finalise the reply.
Board sources said a draft of the reply had been prepared, but the meeting decided to seek four weeks’ time to submit affidavit.
While the AIMPLB has decided to explain the necessity of Shariat courts, the DUD, which has of late been in the eye of the storm over controversial fatwas (edicts), will clarify the functioning of the Darul Ifta (department of fatwa).
A senior board member told the Hindustan Times on Sunday that the two organisations held a joint meeting to avoid contradiction in their separate affidavits. The board has taken the view that neither were Shariat courts against the Constitution, nor fatwas illegal.
The board had already said, “Shariat courts are not a parallel legal system”. In fact, these courts neither have any legal sanctity, nor the power to enforce judgement.
It was only “khuda ka dar” (the fear of God), which had been sustaining the institution for centuries, said Naib Imam Eidgah Khalid Rashid. People agreeing to reconciliation were more driven by religious compulsion than any other pressure.
“Accept it, or face the consequences on the Last Day of Judgment” is an oft-repeated argument in these courts.
Women constituted majority of the petitioners in these courts, which are flooded with divorce cases.
Though not covered under the Shariat Application Act 1937, these courts have been delivering judgements on Muslim Personal Law protected under the Act. Darul Qazas never entertain cases already pending in government courts. These courts are not empowered to take up civil and criminal matters. The Shariat-based courts have also been mostly dealing with family cases like divorce, guardianship, inheritance issues and Mehar (dower). There are nearly 30 shariat courts in UP. Senior advocate and AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said Shariat courts were “the fastest and the cheapest” institutions of dispensation of justice for the community in family matters.
While not more than Rs 200 were spent on entire litigation, he said, judgements were delivered within three to six months. Jilani said Darul Qazas were better than family courts in deciding disputes connected with talaq, mehar and inheritance cases.