NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday restrained forums like Dar-ul-Qazas from giving verdicts or issuing fatwas against a person who has not asked for them and said Shariat courts run by Muslim clerics have no legal sanction and their decisions are not binding on any.
The court, however, refused to declare Dar-ul-Qaza or the practice of issuing fatwas as illegal, saying it is an informal justice delivery system for bringing an amicable settlement between the parties and it is for the persons concerned to accept, ignore or reject it. It said that there is nothing wrong in issuing fatwas so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of individuals guaranteed under law and cautioned Dar-ul-Qaza not to issue a fatwa against a person who is not present before it. “We observe that no Dar-ul-Qazas or for that matter, anybody or institution by any name, shall give verdict or issue fatwa touching upon the rights of an individual unless such an individual has asked for it,” a bench of justices C K Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose said while hearing a petition by Delhi-based advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan against institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul Iftaa.
“Fatwas touching upon the rights of an individual at the instance of strangers may cause irreparable damage and therefore, would be absolutely uncalled for. It shall be in violation of basic human rights. It cannot be used to punish the innocent..,” it said.