NEW DELHI, India – The Supreme Court of India on Monday said that shariat courts are illegal, but did not call it unconstitutional, the Indian media reported.
The apex court said there was no doubt that such a court has no legal status while noting that in some cases, orders were being passed by them which violate human rights and punish innocent persons. A bench headed by Justice CK Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing innocent persons.
The bench ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affect rights of a person who is not before it. The court passed the verdict on a PIL filed by Advocate Vishwa Lochan Madam questioning the constitutional validity of the shariat courts allegedly running a parallel judicial system in India.
All India Personal Law Board had earlier submitted that fatwa was not binding on people and it was just an opinion of a 'mufti' (cleric) and he has no power and authority to implement it. The counsel, appearing for the board, had said if a fatwa was to be implemented against the wish of the person concerned, then he could approach the court of law against it.
The petitioner had submitted that the fundamental rights of Muslims could not be controlled and curtailed through fatwas issued by 'qazis' and 'muftis' appointed by Muslim organisations.