Petition challenging the constitutionality of Shariat law, dismissed

Kerala High Court: On a
Writ Petition filed by several petitioners to declare Shariat Law applicable in
regard to inheritance of property by Muslim women as unconstitutional and void
for being violative of Articles 14, 15, 19, 21 and 25 of the Constitution, a
division bench of Ashok Bhushan CJ and A.M. Shaffique J dismissed the petition
on the ground that the issues raised in the Writ Petition cannot be adjudicated
in proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution and has to be left to the
wisdom of Legislature which is competent to enact law on the subject.

The Counsel for
the petitioner K. Ramakumar pleaded that Shariat law discriminates among Indian
citizens on the ground of sex, as it provides that if a Muslim father dies
leaving only daughters, those daughters will not get share equivalent to that of the share she would get if she
was a male and will have
to share properties along with distant relatives of the deceased, whereas the
male child takes the entire property and has to share it only with the spouse
and parents of the deceased. The Counsel further pleaded that religious
practices have to be made more practicable and workable to adapt itself to the
changing needs of the Society. The Counsel for the respondent pleaded that for
challenging the Shariat law which has got statutory recognition, a legislation
has to be brought into by the competent legislature.

The Court
referred Maharshi Avadhesh v. Union of
India 1994 Supp (1) SCC 713, where it was held that “the respondent
cannot be directed to enact Shariat Law as these are the all matters for
legislature”. The Court held that the issue of modification of personal law is
not something which can be adjudicated by this Court in a Public Interest
Litigation and has to be left for the Legislature to consider the issues raised
and frame a competent legislation thereof. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the
PIL challenging the constitutionality of Shariat law. [Khuran Sunnath Society v. Union of India, decided on 02.07.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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