Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No recognition to Islamic courts: Govt

Wednesday, 17 August , 2005, 17:07

New Delhi:A day after the Supreme Court sought the Centre's response to a petition alleging setting up of Islamic courts, Law Minister HR Bharadwaj declared on Wednesday that the Constitution recognises only one judiciary headed by the Chief Justice of India and none else.

"Constitution does not recognise any of these Islamic courts. There is no question of separate Islamic courts," he said, addressing a press conference at his office.

"Under the Constitution, there is only one Judiciary - the lower courts, the high courts and the Supreme Court and everyone is bound to obey their rulings," he said.

Alarmed by a petition pointing out a parallel Islamic judiciary handling "Imrana" type cases, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Islamic seminary Darul Uloom.

The Court had also issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Delhi, where, according to the petition, Islamic courts have been set up posing a challenge to the judicial system.

Citing the fatwa issued by the Deoband-based seminary Darul-Uloom in Imrana rape case and the stand of AIMPLB, the petitioner said the criminal law was not allowed to have its natural run as the entire issue was hijacked by the clerics.

On fatwas, the Law Minister said that it was an internal matter of the community. "If anything wrong was being done under the Shariat law, the community should address it. They should decide whether they would be governed by fatwas or not," he added.

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