While the demand for codification of the Muslim Personal law and a complete ban on the practice of oral talaq has begun assuming high pitch in the country, moves are underway to set up Women’s Shariah Courts in the State to ensure speedy justice to Muslim women.
The first ‘Auraton Ka Adalat’ in Odisha would start dispensing justice as well as legal aid to the poor and needy Muslim women from October this year.
Being set up by the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), the court will strive to facilitate free, fair and speedy justice, mostly in the matters of marital and family discord, where women are the major victims.
The court would function in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran and deal with matters such as divorce, polygamy, custody of children and property rights. In the first phase, the BMMA is establishing such courts at Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Dingidul in Tamil Nadu with Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Jharkhand to follow suit soon.
The Adalats or courts would be exclusively run by women, specially trained on Quranic laws and principles. They will assist the women in getting legal aid while working on their own to resolve disputes and discord in families.
“The main objective is to protect women as well as ensure their rights in the face of the rampant practice of unilateral divorce.
Women, being divorced through phone calls, post cards, sms and even email, facebook and skype, are left in the lurch without maintenance or any other rights.
All these go against the tenets of Quran, where there is a well laid out time-bound process for divorce”, State convenor of BMMA Farhat Amin said.
In the absence of the codified Muslim Personal Law, these matters are being dealt by Qazis, Muftis and Maulavis, making it an exclusive male domain.
“The court will base its interventions on the Quranic junctions and adopt modalities to ensure legal redressal for the harassed Muslim women.
It will strive for reconciliation, provisioning of maintenance and other rights to the women. It will also provide counselling to both the parties”, Amin said.