JISPIL Vol 6 Issue 1 2010 - A1



In 2005, a private attorney filed suit in the Supreme Court of India asking the Court to take action against a non-state, Muslim civil dispute resolution system that has been operating in parts of India for nearly 90 years.[1] Specifically, the petitioner in this suit, Vishwa Lochan Madan v Union of India,[2] demanded that the Supreme Court [d]eclare that the activities being pursued by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and other similar organizations for establishment of Muslim Judicial System (Nizam-e-Qaza) and setting up of Dar-ul-Qazas (Muslim Courts) and Sharia Court[s] in India is absolutely illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional.[3]

[1]       For general information on, as well as a critical analysis of, the operation of this system, see S Hussain, Shariat Courts and Womens Rights in India (2007) 14 Pakistan J Womens Stud 1 last accessed 18 June 2010. See also S Hussain, Male Privilege, Female Anguish: Divorce and Remarriage among Muslims in Bihar in I Ahmad (ed), Divorce and Remarriage Among Muslims in India (Manohar Publishers, Delhi 2003) 263. For background information on one of the Indian Muslim non-governmental organizations that has been instrumental in the foundation and maintenance of this non-state, Muslim dispute resolution system, see generally P Ghosh, Muttahidah qaumiyat in aqalliat Bihar: The Imarat i Shariah, 1921-1947 (1997) 34 Indian Economic and Social History Review 1.

[2]       Vishwa Lochan Madan v Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) No. 386/2005 (on file with author).

[3]       Ibid 45-6.

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