In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Monday declared that no legal status has been granted to the Shariat Courts and religious decrees or fatwas are illegal if they tread on the rights of an individual.
The apex court further objected to the Shariat Courts ordering punishments against innocent people and said that no religion permits the same.
The SC also said that ‘Darul Qaza’ cannot pass any judgment that infringes on the fundamental rights of an individual unless asked by the concerned person.
The verdict by the apex court was given after a petition challenging the legality of the Shariat Courts was filed by a Delhi based lawyer Vishwa Lochan Madan in 2005.
In the petition, he stated that institutions like Darul Qaza and Darul-iftaa are operating like parallel courts which take decisions on the fundamental rights of the Muslim citizens.
He also reportedly said that religious clerics, qazis and muftis appointed by them cannot take a call on the liberty of the Muslims by issuing fatwas and curtailing their fundamental rights.
The petitioner further argued that the Darul Qaza and Darul-iftaa operate in Muslim dominated districts where people cannot oppose the rulings.
Citing an example, the petitioner stated that a Muslim girl had to desert her husband because a fatwa directed her to live with her father-in-law who had allegedly raped her.
The apex court had reserved the judgment in the case in February earlier this year and had reportedly said that it cannot interfere with the religious decrees issued by the Muslim clerics.
The court further told the petitioner that “some fatwas may be wise and issued for the general good also,” the news report stated.