Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi on Monday demanded a ban on All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) for setting up ‘shariah courts’ saying that nobody could be allowed to run a parallel judicial system in the country.
Known for his controversial and anti-Muslim stance on religious issues, Rizvi said India’s Constitution did not permit any private individual or body to appoint judges (read Qazis) and decide cases.“The AIMPLB has admitted that it has already set up around 80 such shariah courts and appointed qazis to adjudicate on matrimonial disputes and cases,” he said adding the Board was following a trend prevalent in Islamic countries.
On the other hand, the one-time close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Zafar Sareshwala came out in support of the AIMPLB.“The decision to open ‘Shariah Adaalat’s across the country is not at all a parallel court. They are just a mechanism of solving disputes and saving petitioners time and money. They are complementary to our judiciary and not parallel to it,” tweeted Sareshwala, who is also the chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University.
He said ‘Darul Qazas’ – as these centres are known – had no authority or force to get their decisions implemented through any enforcing agency. Hence, they cannot be termed as either in conflict with or parallel to the Indian judicial system.
Meanwhile, AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jilani said some people were deliberately trying to create a controversy by using the term‘shariah court.’“These are just arbitration centres and not courts in the real sense of the term. In 2014, the Supreme Court has held them valid as they help in easing the pressure on our already overburdened courts,” he said.