The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has distanced itself from the much talked about Women's Reservation Bill. The Board began its three-day annual convention in Lucknow on Friday.

The Assistant Secretary-General of the Law Board, Maulana Abdul Rahim Qureshi, made it clear that the 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and State Assemblies envisaged in the Women's Reservation Bill does not figure on the Board's agenda.

Though the issue of women's reservation is important, it is not in the Board's jurisdiction nor under its purview, the Maulana told reporters here.

He said the Board's jurisdiction extended only to matters related to interference in the “shariat” laws of the Muslims and formulation of strategy to counter it and “Islah-e-Ma'ashra” (reform of Muslim society ). Not all issues were within the purview of the Board, he added.

Stating that the Board was opposed to the Communal Violence Bill, Maulana Qureshi said it had serious objections to certain points proposed in the legislation. He made it clear that since the Communal Violence Bill is related to the Liberhan Commission report on the demolition of the Babri Masjid, it figures on the Board's agenda.

Discussion

The Board's spokesman, Qasim Rasool Ilyas, said the organisation wants a thorough discussion on the Bill. It was felt that the suggestions and views of the Board's representatives should be incorporated.

After the opening session at Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema here, which was addressed by AIMPLB Chairman Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadwi, the election of the new president by the Board members would take place on Saturday. This would be followed by a thorough discussion on the issues on the Board's agenda.

An important issue related to the Board's objection to some recent court verdicts not in consonance with the shariat laws. Mr. Ilyas said it was felt that the shariat laws had not been properly interpreted in these verdicts.

“Islah-e-Ma'ashra” or reform of Muslim society has figured on the Board's agenda since its inception and though it has achieved notable success, its implementation has been hampered by the absence of proper documentation.

The status of “Darul Qazas”" or Islamic courts dealing with personal matters would also be discussed at this meeting. On the Babri Masjid, the Board will demand an early verdict in the demolition case. Maulana Qureshi said the Board would demand that the names of those mention in the Liberhan Commission report be included in the FIR.