‘Shariat courts and fatwas have no legal status’: Supreme Court
As per the Supreme Court, Shariat courts, issuing fatwa and order against a person who has not submitted himself before it, has no sanction of law and has no legal status. The court held that no religion is permitted to violate anyone’s fundamental rights.
The apex court noted that in some cases, orders were being passed by these courts which infringe human rights and punish innocent persons. It held that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing the innocent and ordered that no ‘Darul Qaza’ should give judgment which curbs rights of a person who is not before it. As per SC, Islamic judges, who interpret religious law, could only give verdict when individuals submitted voluntarily to them and their orders otherwise fatwas are not legally binding.
In India around 150 million Muslims follow their own laws governing family life and other personal matters such as marriage and divorce, with Sharia courts used to adjudicate on such issues.