SC to give verdict today on PIL for ban on Shariat courts

The petition had challenged the constitutional validity of Shariat courts.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:July 7, 2014 1:31 am

The Supreme Court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on a PIL demanding a ban on Shariat courts and their fatwas after declaring them unconstitutional.

A Bench led by Justice C K Prasad will rule if the top court can issue directives prohibiting the parallel courts run by institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa.

While reserving its verdict on the petition filed by advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan, the Bench had observed that fatwas or religious decrees being issued by Muslim clerics were a “matter of faith and choice” and it would be difficult for a court to issue blanket orders on banning them. It had said that a court can interfere only when somebody’s rights are violated by these decrees.

“Which law gives power to issue fatwa and which statute gives pundit power to make horoscope? Court can only say that the state will protect the people if one is subjected to suffering due to fatwa…These are are political and religious issues,” it had said.

Madan in his petition had challenged the constitutional validity of Shariat courts for allegedly running a parallel judicial system in the country.

Madan claimed 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. Mandan argued Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa function in 52 to 60 districts which have a sizeable Muslim population. He said Muslims cannot contest these decrees or fatwas, and alleged these interfere with the life and liberty of citizens.

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