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Muslim Personal Law Application: Amended Rules issued


Kozhikode:  The state government has issued fresh notification amending the rules under Muslim Personal Law.  The rules in question prior to this had created controversy, especially in regard to the provision that for the application of Shariat Act to Muslims, a declaration of consent was made mandatory.  The disputed provision has been deleted from the newly released notification.

The government originally came forward to bring in rules in line with Muslim Sharia Act of 1937, following High Court's strict instructions.   Accordingly a draft set of rules was issued on 22 December last year as extra-ordinary gazette.  Accoring to this,  for making  Shariah Act applicable to any individual,  a believer in Muslim faith had to submit an affidavit supported by documents and a consent letter stating that he intends to live in accordance with Muslim Personal Law.

By this, a situation would have arisen in which even Muslims who were by birth and practice within the jurisdiction of Muslim Personal Law would have been compelled to file an affidavit for which he or she had to submit documents like caste certificate issued by Revenue department and other supporting papers via Tahsildar.   Since the affidavit requirement and the stringent provision were feared to cause much resistance from Muslim community,  the government backtracked on the move and amended the rules.

In this connection Muslim religious and political bodies had come out demanding amendments.  Samastha Kerala Jamiathul Ulama and Jama'at-e-Islami held talks with minister KT Jaleel and submitted memoranda suggesting amendments.  A Samastha delegation comprising Central Mushavara members, AV Abdulrahman Musaliar and  Umer Faisi Mukkam and others held discussions with the minister.   A delegation from Jama'at-e-Islami including state secretaries NM Abdulrahman and PP Abdulrahman Peringadi also met the minister at Thiru

KT Jaleel informed Madhyamam that on the basis of these, loopholes for misinterpreting the clauses in the rules were plugged in the revised notification.

As per the Section 2 of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937,  in matters of marriage, divorce, succession, inheritance,  maintenance,  guardianship, waqf,  gift and trust,  if the parties are Muslim, they will be governed by Shariat.  On this basis, and since  the rules issued expressly state  that since the subjects covered in the section of the Act are applicable for Muslims, a separate declaration by Muslims is not required.

Minister Jaleel also said that the government issued the clarificatory notification with the intention of clearing the misgivings and that the government is committed to protecting the general interests of the community.

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