Tamil Nadu

HC censures Jamath for terming its judges ‘Kafirs’

A view of Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.  

The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday censured a Jamath (congregation of Muslims) that had issued a Fatwa (ruling) against a woman’s father in September last for having approached the High Court to obtain an interim stay from “Kafir (non-believers in Islam) judges of the court” on triple Talaq (divorce) pronounced by her estranged husband.

“This court places on record its strong disapproval of the Fatwa issued by the Jamath in Theni district denigrating the judiciary and chastising Naseema’s father for having approached the secular courts established by law for getting their grievances redressed...,” Justice P.N. Prakash observed in his order.

He went on to state: “Albeit boycott of courts by lawyers, the present court system only gives identity and respect to the advocates in our society. Judges are only passing features as they have to move out of the portals of the court on superannuation. If Jamaths are going to replace existing courts, the first casualty will be the Bar.”

The observations were made while disposing of a petition filed by the woman’s husband to quash a cheating case registered against him and his family at her insistence.

It was during the course of hearing of the quash petition that the judge came across a written Fatwa issued by Tamil Nadu Jamaathul Ulama Sabha stating that Naseema’s father “ought not to have gone to the High Court where Kafir judges are passing orders against Islamic and Quranic injunctions and that the Jamath will not permit the High Court to pass any such wrong orders.”

Recalling the history of the case, he said the Nikkah (marriage) between the petitioner, Babu alias M. Mydeen Batcha, and the complainant, Naseema, was solemnised on October 28, 2007. Their marriage ran into rough weather within two years resulting in the woman lodging a woman harassment complaint against her husband and his family members in June 2009.

An FIR was registered at Bodinayakanur All Women police station but the woman chose to withdraw that complaint since her husband and his family members reportedly promised to take her back into their fold after getting the issue solved amicably through the local Jamath.

However, on getting extricated from criminal prosecution, Mr. Batcha pronounced triple Talaq in March 2010. Hence, she filed a civil suit before a sub-court in Theni and got the Talaq declared null and void in December 2014.

But allowing an appeal preferred by her husband, Theni District Court set aside the sub-court’s order in November 2015. Immediately, the woman preferred a second appeal before the High Court and obtained an interim stay of the District Court’s order.

She also filed a private complaint before a Judicial Magistrate in Bodinayakanur seeking a direction to the police to register a cheating case against her husband and his family members for having pronounced Talaq through deceit. It was this complaint that the petitioner had now urged the High Court to quash.

Allowing the petition partly, Mr. Justice Prakash quashed the complaint only with respect to Mr. Batcha’s sisters and brothers-in-law, and ordered that the petitioner and his parents would have to face prosecution since a prima facie case had been made out against them by the complainant.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 8:23:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-censures-jamath-for-terming-its-judges-kafirs-theni/article18951098.ece

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