The Bombay High Court Friday allowed intervention applications seeking the dismissal of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court, which sought to restrain children from participating in Muharram processions.
A welfare trust, Anjuman Jannisaran-e-Khuddam-e-Husaini, consisting of Shia Muslims claimed that the reliefs sought through the PIL go against the core belief and faith of the Shia community, which has been uninterrupted since the last 1400 years, throughout the world.
The intervener, through its lawyers, Asif Naqvi and Syed Naqvi, submitted that the trust has been taking care of the security and medication of the children who participated in the procession, among others, and has provided assistance to carry out peaceful processions throughout the ‘mourning’ month since the last seven years.
Moreover, the interveners claimed that there have been no incidents of death of any child during the processions. Muharram marks the anniversary of the battle of Karbala in which Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed. Family members accompanying Hussein ibn Ali were also killed or subjected to humiliation.
“It is a very serious issue. Why are children below the age of 18 years allowed to participate? Photographs show that two-three year-old children participate,” Justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai had observed during the previous hearing of the PIL.
Claiming that the participation of children was ‘bad in law’, the PIL states that use of objects like knives and blades might lead to infections to both children and adults as the same objects are passed on from one person to another.
“The court had witnessed more than 30 interveners, along with advocates belonging to the Shia community on Friday,” said an intervenor Kishwar Mirza. The court has posted the matter for hearing on December 2.