The Supreme Court of India has responded cautiously to a case that questions the validity of Sharia laws and Fatwa’s issued by Muslim Clerics. The apex court said that these fatwas cannot be imposed on the public, but it is yet to pass an order on the issue. The comments were made during the hearing of a case where the petitioner challenged a Sharia court ordering a young woman to marry her father in law who raped her several times.
The court is yet to pronounce a judgement but said that whether it is pundits declaring a certain festival day, or a fatwa issued by an Imam, they cannot force the public to follow their orders. “These are political and religious issues and we do not want to go into it,” the bench said, “We can protect people who are subjected to suffering due to this. When a pujari gives a date of Dushera, he cannot force someone to celebrate the festival on that day. If somebody forces them on you, then we can protect you,” the bench said with reference to the present case.
In 2011, The Supreme Court has taken a tough stance on the Khap type of local court justice system. It has called these setups Kangaroo courts, and their rulings barbaric, feudal minded atrocities on public wholly illegal. Now the Court has a chance to take an approach on religious fatwas too. We have to wait and watch how this pans out.