In a landmark judgement today Madras High Court (HC) has banned Sharia courts running from mosque premises in the state of Tamil Nadu and has given the state government to file a status report on the same within four weeks. The judgement was passed by a bench consisting of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Madhavan.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by an England based NRI Abdur Rahman who had earlier approached one of such courts with the hope to reunite with his wife but instead was forced to sign a letter of divorce or talaq and was made to pronounce the same.
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The PIL stated that the Sharia courts acted as councils to resolve property and matrimonial related disputes and made the impression among the minds of local Muslims that the decisions passed by the council had religious binding among the Muslims. Once a case is presented to the Shariat court, the aggrieved parties are called over the phone to present themselves before the court.
The Supreme Court (SC) had earlier declared such Sharia courts running from the mosque premises as illegal which have by far dealt with such disputes that run in hundreds. Shariat is a set of law derived from the Quran and the Hadiths and have a binding on the followers of Islamic faith.