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A Kazi Can Act As Mediator To Settle Disputes But Can't Adjudicate Them & Pass Orders Like A Decree: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
25 Jan 2022 10:26 AM GMT
A Kazi Can Act As Mediator To Settle Disputes But Cant Adjudicate Them & Pass Orders Like A Decree: Madhya Pradesh High Court
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Indore Bench) recently observed that a Kazi can entertain a dispute and acts as a mediator to settle the dispute between the members of the Muslim community but he cannot adjudicate the dispute like a court and pass an order like a decree.With this, the Bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice Rajendra Kumar Verma noted that an order of the Kazi...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Indore Bench) recently observed that a Kazi can entertain a dispute and acts as a mediator to settle the dispute between the members of the Muslim community but he cannot adjudicate the dispute like a court and pass an order like a decree.

With this, the Bench of Justice Vivek Rusia and Justice Rajendra Kumar Verma noted that an order of the Kazi granting Talaq (divorce) by way of Khula has no legal sanctity and can simply be ignored.

The case in brief 

One Aadil, moved a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea alleging that All India Muslim Personal Law Board and their Quazi/Kazi are running parallel judicial system against the provisions of the Constitution of India and also against the established system of law and justice in this country.

The PIL alleged that they are running their own courts and passing orders and decrees in personal matters. The Petitioner also referred to his personal matter, wherein on an application filed by his wife for divorce by "Khula", the Divorce was granted to him.

The PIL also averred that respondent No.7 (Chief Quazi, Masjid 22, Chhoti Gwaltoli, Indore) under the shelter of President & General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and others is entertaining such types of disputes and passing the orders in the matter which are liable to be brought before the Court for adjudication.

Submissions put forth

The State of Madhya Pradesh submitted before the Court that Section 4 of the Kazi Act, 1880 does not empower the Kazi to confer any judicial or administrative power. 

On the other hand, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board submitte that the personal law relating to marriage and dissolution of marriage has to be governed by the personal law of Muslims as recognized by them in terms of their religious denominational texts.

It was further submitted that clear instructions are given to Kazis who are appointed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board not to entertain the disputes wherein the parties thereof have already approached the Court of Law or do not consent for an amicable resolution of the dispute. 

Thus, it was argued that they are not parallel judicial systems established in derogation of or in conflict with the recognized judicial system in the country. Regarding the instant case, the submission was that the Kazi should have closed the mediation (b/w the wife and the husband) without further proceeding in the matter

Court's observations 

At the outset, the Court noted that a Kazi is only entitled to enter into a negotiation/mediation between the parties in order to settle the dispute and that he can't issue orders like a Court.

Further, the Court referred to the case of Vishwa Lochan Madan v. Union of India and others (2014) 7 SCC 707 to note that such an order, as passed by the Kazi in the instant matter, has no legal sanctity and can simply be ignored.

It may be noted that the Apex Court has held in the Vishwa Lochan Madan case that fatwa/Darul-Qazas/Nizam-e-Qazas are not a decree and is neither binding on anyone nor enforceable-only an adjudication by a legal authority sanctioned by the law is enforceable and binding- only voluntary submissions/acceptance to fatwa is permissible.

With this, without opinion anything with regard to the matrimonial matter in question, the instant plea was disposed of.

Case title - Aadil v. Union of India and others
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 13

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