Monday, July 7, 2014

Fatwas have no legal sanction - Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that fatwas have no legal sanction. The apex court said that either Darul Qaza or any mufti cannot issue fatwas and try to enforce against a person who has not approached for religious opinion.

The SC said religion or faith cannot be used to victimize innocents.

The SC said no law has given any recognition to fatwas.

The apex court cited the Imrana case and said fatwas can cause irreparable damage to the rights of an individual.

The SC said though religious opinion as fatwas have a laudable object, it cannot be enforced the moment it breaches the fundamental rights of a person.

A bench headed by Justice C K Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing innocent persons and ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affects 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 Shariat courts which allegedly run a parallel judicial system in the country.

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 sought 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 organizations.

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