Muslims have right to establish Shariah Courts: Govt. to Supreme Court
Submitted by mumtaz on 11 May 2009 – 11:07pm.
* Indian Muslim
New Delhi: Responding to public interest litigation (PIL), additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniyam submitted before Supreme Court bench comprising Justice A. R. Laxamanan and Justice Altumash Kabir, “Muslims have the right to establish Shari’ah Panchayats under their personal law.” Next hearing has been postponed for 12 weeks.
Earlier, advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan had filed a PIL requesting the court to instruct people to refrain from establishing ‘parallel’ judicial system, namely Qazi system. Government attorney today rejected the plea and said, “Neither the Fatwas issued by Shari’ah courts clash with Indian judicial system nor these courts are deemed a parallel system of justice.”
In support of his PIL, advocate Madan had cited Imrana case in which her father-in-law had allegedly raped her but village Panchayat asked the lady to take him as her husband. Later, Darul Uloom Deoband ruled that presently she cannot live with her former husband and this was confirmed by All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Advocate Madan requested the court to declare that Fatwas issued by various authorities cannot be put in practice and direct union and state governments to take immediate steps to dissolve all Darul Quzat (Sharia Court).
Referring to article 26 of Indian Constitution, the union government pleaded in it reply to the court that religious freedom has been guaranteed for all religions and all communities, under which they can establish and run their charitable institutions including Darul Quzat or Shariah system and manage their religious affairs on their own.
The union government submitted, ‘these institutions are not a parallel system. Moreover, Darul Quzat do not stop Muslims from going to civil courts. So, the people not satisfied with Darul Quzat verdict or do not want to solve their tangle through them are totally free to a court of law.’