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Islamic courts come under SC scanner

Islamic courts come under SC scanner

Author: Agencies
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 6, 2007

The supreme court on Thursday decided to examine the legality of the existence of Islamic and Shariat courts in the country which are allegedly posing a challenge to the Indian judicial system.

A bench comprising Justices A K Mathur and Dalveer Bhandari admitted a PIL seeking dissolution of such courts on the ground they were acting like a parallel judicial system. However, the Centre maintained that the decision of these courts were advisory in nature and in no way amounted to interference with the country's judicial system.

The PIL filed by Delhi-based advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan in 2005, has sought immediate dissolution of all Islamic and Shariat courts in India contending that criminal law was not allowed to have its natural run as the entire issue was hijacked by the clerics.

The PIL sought a ban on establishing such Islamic courts and directions to the Centre and the states to take effective steps to dissolve all darul qazas and Shariat courts and a declaration that fatwas have no legal sanction.

A direction was also sought that these courts should be restrained from interfering with the marital status of Indian Muslim citizens and passing any judgment, remarks or fatwas.

The PIL also sought a direction prohibiting the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and seminaries from training or appointing qazis, naib-qazis or muftis for rendering judicial services of any kind. However, the government in its affidavit had said fatwas issued by Muslim clerics were opinions and could not be imposed or enforced on anyone.

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