Mumbai's first Darul Qaza or Shariah Court was inaugurated by the
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) General Secretary
Syed Mohammad Wali Rahmani on Monday in an impressive public
meeting held at Anjuman Islam campus near Victoria Terminus (VT).
The Darul Qaza will operate from the
premises adjacent to Bellasis Road Mosque, Keddy Shopping Centre
The Darul Qaza with experienced
Qazis and Muftis will work from morning 09:00 to 01:00 in the
afternoon. It will begin registration of cases from April 30.
Inaugurating the Darul Qaza, Syed
Mohammad Wali Rahmani said that it did not compete with the civil
courts but was aimed at lowering the burden of the civil courts.
"Contrary to general perception that
Shariah courts will challenge the existing judicial system, it
will actually lower the burden of the civil courts where thousands
of cases are pending and the judges are overworked," he said.
Shariah courts already function at
many places in the country, such as Hyderabad, Patna and Malegaon.
Here qazis appointed by the AIMPLB
hear the community's various disputes, barring criminal cases, and
The court will act as a mediator or
negotiator in marital disputes and civil disputes. Criminal cases
and those wherein any one of the party has already approached the
courts will not be taken up.
"This court will function to settle
mainly family disputes pertaining to marriage, divorce and
inheritance. Marriage disputes will be settled quickly and the
couples will be told to either reconcile or separate if
reconciliation is not possible. It will save the community much
time and money as fighting cases in civil courts is expensive and
time-consuming," said Syed Wali Rahmani.
For a dispute to be heard by a Shariah court, both the parties in
the dispute will have to approach the court. If one of the parties
has approached a civil court, then it will have to withdraw the
case for the Shariah court to accept the matter.
Senior advocate and head of AIMPLB's legal cell Yusuf Muchalla
called the city's Shariah court a "significant alternative dispute
"This court will decide within the
framework of Muslim personal laws and mainly deal with matrimonial
disputes. This is a kind of domestic tribunal set up by the Muslim
community", he said.
He added that district and high
courts in Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal and Orissa have upheld several
decisions given by the Shariah courts established by the
Imarat-e-Shariah (House of Shariah) headquartered in Patna.
Muchalla maintained that the Shariah courts were well within the
law of the land.
The court, set up by the All India
Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), will largely concentrate on
Hannafia and Sunni laws.
“The idea is to give justice faster and cheaper and all those
(sects) associated with the AIMPLB can approach it. We will first
try for reconciliation but if that does not work then courts will
decide,” said Maulana Hakim Mehmood Dariyabadi, member of AIMPLB.