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Sharia courts never claimed legal powers: Muslim Personal Law Board

Sharia courts never claimed legal powers: Muslim Personal Law Board

Hyderabad: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board Monday said the Darul-Qaza (Sharia courts) never claimed that they are constitutional institutions or have legal powers.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) assistant secretary Mohammed Abdul Raheem Qureshi, said the Supreme Court Monday refused to ban Darul-Qaza as sought by the petitioner.

"Why are you ignoring the fact that the court has dismissed the petition for banning Darul-Qaza," Qureshi told IANS when asked to react on the court ruling that Sharia courts have no legal sanctity.

"We never claimed that we are constitutional institutions or we have legal powers. We are private institutions and we decide the matters as per Sharia when parties approach us," he said.

He did not agree that the Supreme Court ruling is a setback to the AIMPLB.

The board has Darul-Qaza committee comprising five prominent clerics. The committee runs Sharia courts in various cities in India so that Muslims can approach them for deciding their matters in accordance with Sharia.

The Supreme Court ruling came in response to a plea by Vishwa Lochan Madan who sought curbs on the activities of qazis and muftis who, he said, gave out fatwas which amounted to judicial pronouncements and constituted a parallel justice delivery system based on Shariat.

The petitioner contended that all fatwas have the support of the AIMPLB and alleged that it wanted to establish a parallel Islamic judicial system in India.

The apex court made it clear that a fatwa "not emanating from any judicial system recognised by law ... is not binding on anyone including the person who had asked for it.

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