All India Muslim Personal Law Board now wants to set up Sharia courts all over the country

In a series of events, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has come up with a decision to open Sharia courts also referred to as Darul-Qaza, in all districts of the country. This extremely controversial decision has now met with stiff opposition from the BJP.

The AIMPLB’s decision to set up parallel religious courts, which are extra-constitutional in nature, has not taken well by many sections in the country.

AIMPLB’s Zafaryab Jilani is of the opinion that, the Darul-Qaza is not a parallel court, but a place where Qazis (Islamic scholars) give suggestions to solve disputes. He said that there are around 40 such courts already in the country. The Muslim board is planning to take it to all the parts of the country. “The objective of Darul-Qaza is to resolve matters in light of Shariat laws instead of going to other courts,” he said.

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Reacting to this, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said that “You can discuss religious matters but court binds this nation. There is no place for Sharia Court, be it district or village or city. Courts will work in accordance with law. This isn’t the Islamic Republic of India.”

Interestingly, the Supreme Court in a judgement held that the sharia courts have no legal sanctity, and fatwas issued by them are llegal. It seems to be a grave concern as despite ruled illegal by the Supreme Court, the sharia courts still runs a parallel justice system in India.

According to Prof. Anand Ranganathan, there are more than 300 Sharia courts or Darul-Qaza operating in the country. The Islamic organization called Imarat-e-Sharia runs more than 250 Sharia courts alone in states like Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand. The AIMPLB also runs more than 50 Islamic Parallel courts in the country.

The AIMPLB has also decided to strengthen Tafheem-e-Shariyat (TeS) committees to create awareness programmes about the sharia law, especially making lawyers and judges sensitize about the Islamic law.

“The committee used to organise conferences and workshops all over the country with Islamic experts trying to delve in details into Shariat laws and address queries of participants. It is felt that the committee should be activated and more such programs should be held,” Zafaryab Jilani said.

The AIMPLB is considered to be an extremely controversial religious body. Earlier it had faced huge opposition in the country, as they were against the idea of banning the patriarchal laws like Triple Talaq.

AIMPLB is also a stakeholder in the Babri Masjid demolition case, which is pending in the Supreme Court. Recently Salman Nadwi, a member of the AIMPLB had talks with Sri Sri Ravishankar regarding a peaceful settlement of the Ayodhya dispute. But, AIMPLB sacked him from the membership of the board for speaking about a peaceful resolution of the issue.

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