Historical judgment in India: Fatwas, Sharia courts illegal, says Supreme Court

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, July 7: Taking a very important decision, the Supreme Court on Monday, July 7, ruled out that Fatwas and Sharia courts are illegal. The apex court claimed that the Sharia courts, which dispense justice among Muslim community members, have no legal sanctity and at times their order infringes the fundamental rights of the people.

Headed by Justice CK Prasad, the apex court bench said that religious courts cannot pass an order that infringes on the fundamental rights of a person or of an affected person on a plea by a third person.

The court said the Sharia courts can only pass edicts and only when an affected person approaches it. The court said this while disposing of a petition that sought to put a cap on Sharia courts, saying that they were functioning as parallel to the country's judicial system.

Religious courts cannot pass an order that affect rights of individual: SC

The epic judgement came following a legal petition filed by by a Delhi based lawyer Vishwa Lochan Madan in 2005. Mr Madan, in his petition, challenged legality of Shariat courts.

The petitioner had said that institutions like Darul Qaza and Darul-iftaa have been operating like parallel courts which take decisions on the fundamental rights of the Muslim citizens.

According to sources, he also stated said that religious clerics qazis and muftis appointed by them cannot take a call on the liberty of the Muslims by issuing fatwas and curtail their fundamental rights.

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

Citing an example, the petitioner stated that 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.

The apex court had reserved the judgement in the case in February earlier in 2014 and had reportedly said that it cannot interfere with the religious decrees issued by the Muslim clerics.

The court further told the petitioner that "some fatwas may be wise and issued for the general good also," the news report stated.

OneIndia News
(With agency inputs)

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