The Apex Court gave its verdict on a petition filed by a Delhi-based advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan, challenging parallel courts run by institutions like the Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa.

According to sources, the petitioner had argued that Shariat courts are illegal and that fundamental rights of Muslims cannot be controlled by fatwas issued by qazis and muftis appointed by Muslim organizations.

The Apex Court had earlier in February said that running of institutions like Darul Qaza and Darul-Iftaa is a religious issue and the courts should interfere only when someone's rights are violated by their decision.

"We can protect people who are subjected to suffering due to this. When a pujari gives a date of Dussehra, he cannot force someone to celebrate the festival on that day. If somebody forces them on you, then we can protect you," the bench said after the petitioner pleaded that fatwa issued by clerics is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court further said fatwa issued by clerics or predictions made by pundits do not violate any law and so the courts should restrain them from doing so.
"Which law gives power to issue fatwa and which statute gives pundit power to make horoscope? Court can only say that the state will protect the people if one is subjected to suffering due to fatwa," the bench said, adding that some fatwas may be issued for welfare of the people.
"These are political and religious issues and we do not want to go into it," the bench said.



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