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Fatwa on petty things responsible behind SC ruling that says Shariat courts have no legal status: Muslim clerics
Supreme Court in a crucial ruling today said that Shariat Courts have no legal sanction and followers of Islam cannot be forced to accept a fatwa issued by it. The apex court's bench headed by justice CK Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing the innocent and curbing the fundamental rights of a person.

The Supreme Court today, delivered the verdict on a petition by Delhi-based advocate, Vishwa Lochan Madan, who had questioned the existence of religious courts run by institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul Iftaa and alleged Shariat courts for its illegal existence in society and perturbing the social freedom of Muslim citizens.

A spokesperson for Shia Personal Law Board, Maulana Yasoob Abbas while commenting on the Supreme Court's verdict, "Shariat court has diminished the importance and value of Fatwa in Muslim community by issuing it for petty things. And this is the only reason which has made people to oppose it or criticize it. I personally respect the Supreme Court verdict. The one should understand that legal matters need to be resolved by legitimate institution only. I think, the court should built a committee which will be responsible enough to analyse the whole case before issuing any fatwa."

Meanwhile Abdul Hameed Nomani, Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind clarified that qazi could not impose anything which he mentions in the fatwa on someone without analysing the matter. There are certain rules and regulations under which Shariat courts work. The condemnation of fatwas will become a regular affair if they are issued with non-seriousness."

The petitioner advocate Madan claimed that fundamental rights should not be controlled by any of institution by issuing fatwas by Qazi or religious arbiters. He while arguing gave example of a Muslim girl who had been asked in a issued fatwa to live with her father-in-law who had allegedly sexually assaulted her.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on the issue of Shariat Courts and fatwas in February, saying, "These are political-religious issues. We can't decide them. In this country some people believe Gangajal can cure all ailments. It is a matter of belief."

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