Pune: The Supreme Court's remarks on Sharia courts not being a legal body and their orders having no legal relevance besides the apex court's disapproval of such courts issuing fatwas against persons who are not before it has not gone down well with city Muslims.
Pune is one of the few cities where a special Sharia court, for women and run by women exists, which came into existence a few months ago in response to the needs of Muslim women for legal representation and arbitration.
Saeeda Jamadar, president of the first all woman Sharia court , the court had not taken into account the suffering of the Muslim women into consideration before delivering its verdict.
"Why don't the court's give their verdict on Muslim women's issues and maintain that they fall under the Muslim personal law and hence need to be looked at in a special light? That's because we do have a Muslim personal law and the Shariat courts are established on the principles of Islamic jurisprudence and hence the most perfect medium of justice delivery mechanism. The Supreme Court's statement nearly amounts to an interference with the Islamic law and needs to be reconsidered. We will appeal to the central government to look into the issue in detail and consider it favourably according to the requirements of Shariat," she added.
According to Jamadar, around 10 women approach the Pune Shariat court on a daily basis and the response has been encouraging with more and more people flocking to the Shariat court seeking justice.
Prominent Islamic scholar Maulana S A Kazmi said, "I won't comment on the Supreme Court order but would like to state the importance of Fatwas and Shariat in Islamic law. Indian Constitution has given us the right to act and work according to our Muslim personal law. The Muslims have special regard place for fatwas and their importance in justice delivery in society has been accepted by the government too ," he added.
Another well-known cleric Qari Idrees said that role of fatwas and shariat has always played a key role in an Islamic society and Muslims and India too is not an exception. "Fatwas are issued by the highest body of Ulema and not by any layperson while Shariat is a way of life for Muslims. Decisions taken by Shariat courts are in according with Muslim personal law which are not only approved by Indian constitution but according to tenets of Islam. The Shariat courts are accepted by all Muslims without any question as the decision is rational and scientific in nature. Any true believing Muslim who follows Islam, will believe in Shariat and to say that it has no legal standing for a believer is not imaginable," he added.
Meanwhile a practising Muslim lawyer requesting anonymity said that if one followed the apex court ruling, it said that two parties can approach the Shariat court consensually for arbitration. "It is not unlawful to do so but as far as it's legal standing goes and other finer points, we will have to read the judgement before commenting," he said.