Madras High Court bans Sharia courts

The Tamil Nadu government should take action if Sharia councils are found pretending as courts, rules the HC

Madras High Court bans Sharia courts

Banning the functioning of Sharia courts in the state, the Madras High Court on Monday ruled that “the Tamil Nadu government should take action if  Sharia courts in mosques are found pretending as courts”.

It was hearing a plea filed by an NRI named Abdul Rahman, who alleged that a Makka Masjid Shariat council was functioning like a regular court from a mosque on Anna Salai in Chennai. It was dealing with matrimonial disputes, summoning parties and passing divorce orders, he said.

In reply to the petition, Thiruvallikeni deputy commissioner said people go to  Sharia courts on their own will. Unsatisfied with the explanation,  the court told the government to file a fresh reply to petition within four weeks.

Making it clear that religious places and other places of worships are meant for religious purposes only, the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar said the state government should ensure that they do not function and file a status report within four weeks.

Shariat is a set of laws derived from the Quran and Hadiths, which are binding on Muslims. In 2014, the Supreme Court had said decisions handed out by such Sharia courts did not have any legal status.