The Madras high court on Monday banned all unauthorised Sharia courts functioning in mosque complexes in Tamil Nadu. The order was passed on a PIL filed by an NRI questioning illegal courts operating within mosques and passing orders on matrimonial issues including divorce.
Abdul Rahman, in his petition had alleged that a Sharia court, functioning like a regular court, was operating in a mosque in Anna Salai and was dealing with matrimonial issues. The court banned all such unauthorised courts within mosque complex across Tamil Nadu. The court directed the Tamil Nadu government to prevent functioning of such courts and to file a report on the same within four weeks. The court further observed that places of worship are only meant for religious purposes.
The petitioner was filed after the NRI became a victim of one such court and was forced to divorce his wife. His counsel said that the petition was filed to ensure that innocent Muslims don't suffer at the hands of Sharia courts or councils and to safeguard their interests. "Many Muslims were affected by the system as the council had created an impression that it was passing orders and judgements that were religiously binding on Muslims," he said.