//Muslim Personal Law Board demands inquiry into blasts

Muslim Personal Law Board demands inquiry into blasts

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today condemned the blasts that rocked the holy city of Varanasi and demanded a judicial inquiry into it.

"The Commission should be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge" Abdul Rahim Qureshi, Assistant General Secretary of the Board, told reporters after its executive committee meeting here which passed a resolution to this effect.

"There are certain forces which are out to disrupt communal harmony in the country and promote hate muslim campaign and these must be brought to book", he said.

The Board also upheld the "Darul-Khaza" (Muslim Shariyat Court) and Fatwa (opinion given by a Mufti on rule of Shariat) against which a writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court.

"We will fight the petition for which the first hearing is on March 27", Quereshi said.

Refuting the contention made in the petition that "Darul-Khaza" is a "parallel court" and must therefore be dissolved, Quereshi asserted Darul-Khaza "is an alternate dispute resolution mechanism and a forum for speedy resolution of cases pertaining to Muslim Personal Law including those on marriage and inheritance".

"It is definitely not a parallel court and cases here are resolved amicably within months instead of years as in the case of courts", he said.

The petitioner Vishwa Lochan Madan had pleaded with the Supreme Court to direct the Board to ban Fatwa saying "it hampers administration of justice, which is not so", Quereshi said.

"Fatwa is just an opinion given by a Mufti to a particular problem and is not enforceable", he said, adding "Fatwa should continue and every Muslim should follow the rule of Shariath".

On the Triple Talaq issue which came up at the meeting, he said "talaq should be the last resort and should only be once. However, before resorting to it, the problem should be put forth before the members of the family and opinion of a learned scholar of Muslim Law be sought".

"Talaq or divorce is a detestable thing in the eyes of Muslim Law," he said.

To educate the Muslims regarding the rules, duties and obligations under Shariath, the Board would undertake social reformation campaign all over the country, Quereshi said.

Responding to a question on census of Muslims in the defence services, he said "though it is a sensitive issue, we uphold the stand taken by the government as Muslims are least represented in defence services".

Zafaryab Jilani, a member of the executive committee and an advocate dealing with Babri Masjid case in Lucknow, said "the verdict in the Babri Masjid cases, one pertaining to demolition of Babri Majid and the other on disputed land is expected to be out by early 2007.

"We have asked that the demolition case against Advani and others being tried at Rae Bareli be also tranferred to Lucknow and both be tried at Lucknow," he said