AMN / LUCKNOW/ HYDERABAD
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has clarified that the proposal to open Darul-Qaza (Shariat courts) in all districts of India is a constitutional exercise and it is not in conflict with Civil Courts.
Darul-Qaza meant for resolving issues like marriage, divorce and inheritance in line with Islamic law, says Secretary of AIMPLB, Zafaryab Jilani is a 100% constitutional exercise and that there was no conflict between Civil Courts and Darul-Qaza.
“Media has caused confusion by dubbing Darul Qaza as court. It’s not a court as it is headed by a Qazi. Darul Qaza will perform the role of mediation and arbitration which is permissible under Indian Arbitration Act and its order will not be binding on litigants. If they are not satisfied then they could approach Civil courts,” said Jilani.
“No one calls it Shariat court anymore but Darul Qaza, where Qazi solves civil disputes or suggests ways for separations if issues aren’t solved,’’ he explained.
When asked as to why he wanted different court for Muslims even though the country had Supreme Court, Jilani said, “ This is not a court. We call it Darul-Qaza where a Qazi sits and listens to people’s disputes. Both parties approach him and he tests them about Shariyat. He tries to resolve their issue and if they agree they do not approach Civil Court. There is no conflict between Civil Courts and Darul-Qaza.”
“This matter was challenged in Supreme Court (Vishwa Lochan Madan case) where a plea was raised that this was a parallel judicial system. We have the right to practice our religion,” he said.
While the final decision on AIMPLB’s proposal will be taken after a meeting in New Delhi on July 15, the draft proposal itself has caused a political storm and invited pan-India outrage.
Critics of Shariat court alleged that formalizing pan-India Shariah courts will not only encourage parallel system of justice in India but will also endorse unhealthy precedent of mainstreaming religion-based justice systems in secular India. The criticism of AIMPLB’s proposal is rooted in the fact that it attempts to not only colour justice with religion but also mocks the sanctity of constitutionally-appointed courts.
Earlier on Sunday, Zafaryab Jilani put on record that there were 40 Shariat courts in Uttar Pradesh and the Board was planning to open one such court in every district of India.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi slammed the AIMPLB for planning to open Sharia courts. “You can discuss religious matters but court binds this nation. There is no place for Shariat court, be it district or village or city. Courts will work in accordance with law. This isn’t Islamic Republic of India,” she said.
‘Darul Qaza’ term is mistranslated
President, Jamaat-e-Islami, Telangana and Odisha, Hamed Mohd Khan, said that some sections were wrongly interpreting the term Darul Qaza. “If the AIMPLB names it as a Shariat court we condemn it and demand they rename it. Darul Qaza translates into counselling centres. There is a need for such centres across the country,” he said.
“If the AIMPLB names it as a shariat court we condemn it and demand they rename it. Darul Qaza translates into counseling centres. There is a need for such centres across the country to help Muslims resolve civil issues and bring in more awareness about Islamic principles and laws,” he said Para legal volunteer and social activist Qutbuddin Masood said the term ‘Darul Qaza’ was mistranslated into shariat courts.
“Actually, it is a counseling centre and the ministry of law and higher courts has emphasised the need to have counselling or arbitration centres to resolve small disputes. Following the observations and orders, several government agencies have themselves set up Lok Adalats and counselling centre’s to reduce the burden on the courts.”
“Darul Qazas” not parallel courts: Owaisi
AMN / HYDERABAD
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has said that “Darul Qazas” (Shariat courts) are not parallel courts and they are mere alternate dispute redressal mechanism.” His remarks came a day after All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) announced its decision to open the Darul Qaza at every district evoking critsism from different quarters.
“Darul Qazas will only preside over civil matters. And that too only if the two parties consent to take their problems to a qazi. Even if a decision is given, it depends on the parties to accept it. The decision is more like a legal opinion,” Owaisi, who is also a member of the Executive Committee of AIMPLB, said here on Monday, while interacting with a TV channel.
He also said, “We must understand that this is not a way to impose Sharia in the country. These bodies are constitutional and nobody is forcing the parties to go over there.” On Sunday, AIMPLB announced its plans to open Shariat courts in all districts of the country.