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India's Supreme Court sets rules for Sharia courts

Published on Jul 7, 2014 3:37 PM
 

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition seeking to ban Sharia courts, but stressed that they had no legal powers over Muslims and their decisions could not be enforced.

India's 150 million Muslims follow their own laws governing family life and other personal issues such as marriage and divorce, with Sharia courts used to rule on such matters and mediate in disagreements.

The top court said that Islamic judges, who interpret religious law, could only rule when individuals submitted voluntarily to them and their decisions, or fatwas, were not legally binding.

"Sharia courts are not sanctioned by law and there is no legality of fatwas in this country," C.K. Prasad said Monday as he read out the judgement from a two-judge bench.

 
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