The Supreme Court of India on 7 July 2014 ruled that Shariat courts are illegal and objected to Shariat court from passing orders against innocent person. It said that no religion allows punishment of innocent and hence no Darul Qaza should give verdict on rights of a person, unless it is asked for by the person.
It said that no legal status has been granted to the Sharia Courts or religious decrees of fatwas, thus they are illegal if it violates fundamental rights of an individual.
The SC judgment was delivered while hearing a petition that asked whether Shariat courts are unconstitutional or not. The petition was filed by a Delhi-based advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan in 2005, which challenged the parallel courts run by institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa and have an impact on the fundamental rights of the Muslim citizens.
The decision was delivered by the bench headed by Justice CK Prasad of SC.
Earlier in February 2014, the Supreme Court had observed that it cannot interfere with fatwas or religious decrees issued by Muslim clerics.
However, All India Personal Law Board had earlier submitted that fatwa was not binding on people and it was just an opinion of a mufti (cleric) and he has no power and authority to implement it. Also, if a fatwa was sought to be implemented against the wish of the person concerned, then he could approach the court of law against it.
Who: Shariat courts
When: 7 July 2014