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Preeti Agnihotri | Chennai | HENB | Dec 19, 2016:: Though the Supreme Court of India had earlier declared several times that Sharia courts running from the mosque premises as illegal+, the ‘pseudo-secular’ politics (read ‘Muslim vote bank’ politics) in India never seriously tried to stop them.
Now, the Madras High Court on Monday banned all unauthorised ‘Sharia’ courts functioning from mosque premises in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The court has also directed the Tamil Nadu Government not to allow such unauthorised courts and file a report within four weeks making it clear that religious places and other places of worships are meant for religious purposes only without function as parallel court contravening the constitutional provisions including various laws in force.
“If a place of worship – whether it be temple, mosque or church – is used for purposes other than prayers, and more specifically to create extra-constitutional forums, certainly the authorities are duty-bound to take action against them,” said the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar on Monday.
The bench was irked at the fact that people behind these ‘sharia courts’ had endeavoured to give a colour of judicial forum to the entities, which in fact were outside court jurisdictions.
The bench was passing orders on a PIL filed by an NRI who wanted the court to direct authorities to close the functioning of ‘Makka Masjid Shariat Council’ on the Anna Salai in Chennai and similar organisations in Tamil Nadu, since they had been acting as dispute adjudicating bodies, especially those relating to matrimonial disputes.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by an England-based NRI Abdur Rahman holding MBA degree who had earlier approached one of such courts with the hope to reunite with his wife but instead was forced to sign a letter of divorce or talaq and was made to pronounce the same.
The Supreme Court had earlier declared such Sharia courts running from the mosque premises as illegal which have by far dealt with such disputes that run in hundreds. Shariat is a set of law derived from the Quran and the Hadiths and have a binding on the followers of Islamic faith.