Madras High Court bans unauthorised Sharia Courts

Chennai: In a big jolt to unauthorised Sharia Courts, Madras High Court on 19th December banned them from functioning. The Court also made it clear that religious places and places of worship were meant for religious purpose only. The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar said on Monday that the state government should ensure that they do not function and file a status report within four weeks.

An NRI, Abdul Rahman, filed a public interest litigation in the court stating that a Makka Masjid Shariat council was functioning like a regular court from a mosque on the Anna Salai in Chennai. It was dealing with matrimonial disputes, summoning parties and passing divorce orders, he said.

His senior counsel, A Sirajudeen, said the PIL had been filed “to safeguard the interests of a large number of innocent Muslims” who silently suffered at the hands of sharia courts/councils in Tamil Nadu.

He said many Muslim were affected by the system, as the council had created an impression among Muslims that it had been functioning as per Sharia law and all its orders and judgments were religiously binding on Muslims.