Dindigul among 4 places where they will be set up

Women Shariat Courts, the first of their kind in the country to handle cases relating to Muslim women and dispense speedy justice to them, will be set up in Dindigul, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. They will adjudicate on matters such divorce, polygamy, maintenance, custody of children and property rights, said Jaibunisha Reyaz Babu, State convener, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), Tamil Nadu Chapter, here on Thursday.

The courts would function as per injunctions of the Holy Quran and dispense speedy justice to women. Only women will man these courts. Initially, the BMMA would train 20 women on rights of women as per the Holy Quran.

The legal aid provider women would help harassed Muslim woman get legal redress. The decision of the women’s court would be based on rights of women enshrined in the Holy Quran and it will try to curb practices such as triple talaq, polygamy and non-payment of maintenance.

Based on their success, similar courts would be set up in West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Jharkhand in the next six months, she added.

Women have failed to get justice from the Imarat-e-Shariah or Shariah courts run by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The BMMA has been receiving grievances from Muslim women in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Orissa, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Jharkhand about unilateral divorce and total refusal of any maintenance or support by their husbands. Moreover, the practice of unilateral divorce has been sent through post card, SMS, letter, through relatives or just communication over phone. All these things were against the tenets of the Holy Quran that laid well-defined time-bound process for divorce.

In the absence of a codified Muslim personal law, these matters were so far dealt with by Qazis, Muftis and Maulvis and women’s groups have often complained that these centres were biased, she said.

There would also be a national bench comprising eminent scholars and activists to give their opinion on complex matters of Muslim personal law to safeguard the interests of women and children, she said.

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