A PIL was filed stating that sharia courts are dealing with matrimonial issues and property disputes.

Madras HC bans unauthorised sharia courts asks TN govt to file reply
news Court Monday, December 19, 2016 - 17:17

The Madras High Court has observed that unauthorised “sharia courts” should not be allowed to function on mosque premises in Tamil Nadu. The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul and Justice M Sundar on Monday said that action has to be taken to prevent sharia courts from operating like khatta panchayats at mosques and asked the Tamil Nadu government to file a reply in four weeks. 

The court stated, "We find that a colour is sought to be given of a Judicial Forum to this endeavour though they are outside the purview of the Court Jurisdictions.” Observing that the places of worship, whether it be temple, mosque or church, is used for purposes other than prayers and more specifically to create extra Judicial forums, the first bench said authorities are duty bound to take action against the sharia courts.  

A public interest litigation was filed by NRI Abdul Rahman who alleged that a sharia council was operating at a mosque on Anna Salai in Chennai. The petitioner said that sharia courts are dealing with matrimonial issues, and property disputes. 

The PIL said, “Because of the illegal functioning of the shariats, the family system of a number of Muslim families have collapsed and hundreds of spouses suffer the ignominy of separation because of poverty.”

The petitioner’s counsel, A Sirajudeen told Times of India that the PIL had been filed as many Muslims were affected by the unauthorised sharia court that had created an impression that its orders were binding. The petitioner alleged that Muslim families were encouraged to approach these “kangaroo courts” and that “under the name of religious injunction the parties are forced to appear before it.”

He also alleged that a sharia court had pronounced his divorce after forcing him to sign a talaq letter. The Supreme Court had in 2014 stated that fatwas issued by shariat courts do not have legal sanctity and cannot be enforced if they infringe upon an individual’s fundamental rights. 

The case has been posted for January 19. 

The Supreme Court had in 2014 stated that fatwas issued by shariat courts do not have legal sanctity and cannot be enforced if they infringe upon an individual’s fundamental rights. 

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