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'Qazi' can't pass court-like order, says Madhya Pradesh High Court

An Islamic 'Qazi' can not adjudicate a dispute and pass orders like a court, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has said.

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Press Trust of India Indore
An Islamic 'Qazi' can not adjudicate a dispute and pass orders like a court, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has said.
A Qazi can play the role of mediator between persons from the Muslim community to settle a dispute though, it added. A division bench of Justices Vivek Rusia and Rajendra Kumar Verma of the Indore bench of the High Court made the observation while disposing of a public interest litigation on January 12.
The petitioner, a Muslim man, had moved the HC in 2018, challenging the order of the Chief Qazi of the Indore-based Darul-Qaza Chhawani, an Islamic institution. The Chief Qazi had pronounced a decree of divorce on the petitioner's wife's plea for 'Khula' (divorce sought by a Muslim woman) without authority, the PIL said. The division bench said a Qazi can not pass an order like a court of law. "If a Qazi entertains a dispute and acts as a mediator to settle the dispute between the members of the community that would be permissible, but he cannot adjudicate the dispute like a court and pass an order like a decree," the high court said. Citing a Supreme Court judgement, it said the Qazi's order in this case had no legal sanctity and "can simply be ignored." As to the matrimonial dispute between the petitioner and his wife, they can avail of suitable legal remedy, the judges added.

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First Published: Jan 25 2022 | 9:28 PM IST

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