Supreme Court puts a stay on Uttrakhand HC's decision on Fatwa
Appearing on behalf of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran argues that court cannot decide cases overlooking Constitutional basics of the country.
New Delhi, October, 12, 2018. The Supreme Court today stayed an order of Uttarakhand High Court which had directed a blanket ban on Fatwas and ordered that no religious body should pass such orders. The stay order was passed by a Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta in an appeal filed against the High Court verdict by Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, one of the leading Islamic organizations in India.
The High Court had banned Fatwas after taking note of a newspaper report on August 30, 2018. This decision had created deep concern across the country among the members of Muslim community. This prohibitory order might have disturbed several thousand of religious institutions in India which issue fatwa on different issues.
In view of serious nature of this case, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind challenged this verdict in Supreme Court on September, 4, 2018. Today, Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran, Shakil Ahmad Syed, Niaz Ahmad Farooqui, Uzmi Jameel Husain, Tayyab Khan, Mujeebuddin Khan and Mohd. Parvez Dabas appeared for the appellant and made submissions on behalf of appellant.
Senior Advocate Raju Ramchandran argued before the judges that the verdict contradicts the Article 26 of the Constitution which gives rights to every section to manage its own affairs in matters of religion. Furthermore, it is contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court itself in Vishwa Lochan Madan case (supra) on the issuance of ‘fatwa’ by religious institutions on religious issue. Moreover, by not following the law laid down by the Apex Court, the High Court has also violated the provisions of Article 141 of the Constitution of India. Apart from that, the Utrakhand High Court has erred in its verdict by treating the ‘firman of Panchayat’ as ‘fatwa’ only on the basis of news item appeared in the daily edition of Hindi Newspaper wherein a panchayat in a village issued ‘farman’ (Diktat) to extern the family of a victim of heinous crime. The Hon’ble High Court misconstrued the word ‘farman’ (Diktat) issued by panchayat as ‘fatwa’ (opinion of expert given on a religious matter).The Honourable judges must have noticed that a fatwa is not given by Panchayat but it is given by only authorized and well qualified Mufti and its status is confined to mere advice or an opinion given in response to questions asked by an individual on a personal or religious matter.
Reacting to the Supreme Court order, the petitioner and JUH General Secretary, Maulana Mahmood Madani, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind expressed his satisfaction and said that Darula Ifta spread across the country issues fatwa on different matters. But their fatwas are only religious guidance. It should not be taken as farman. Maulana Madani expressed his gratitude to the Apex Court for instantly staying Uttrakhand high Court decision taking into consideration the sensitive nature of this case. He also expressed optimism that the Apex Court will deliver judgment in the positive direction.