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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Gujarat round up

Darul Qaza in Gujarat gaining popularity

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

The Milli Gazette Online 

Ahmedabad: Justice at the Darul Qaza, the first Shariah court in Gujarat, is cheap and speedy. The Shariah court has a simple outlook, set up in a single small room with four benches, three chairs and an elevated seat with a desk in front but it is gaining popularity as people have started knocking its doors for justice. 

The Shariah court was set up by Imarat-e-shriah, Bihar started last December to dispense justice in accordance with the tenets of Shariah. The fee for filing a case is Rs 300.

Mufti Abdul Qayum Jaipuri is the Shah Qazi. He said that the court has disposed of five cases out of 18, which were filed in it within two months after setting up of the court. A couple living in Birmingham, England filed a divorce petition. The NRI husband and Indian wife had lived together for two months but the marriage was not consummated, he said.

The process of seeking justice is simple. You have to pay only Rs 300 once, the rest is taken care of by the court. After filing of an application, the first notice is issued to the respondent by registered post and if there is no response from him/her, two more notices are sent to the respondent, and if these too remain unanswered, the verdict is declared ex-party in favour of the plaintiff.

Cases relating to financial matters, ownership disputes and business partnership are not declared ex-party and the applicant is asked to excuse the court, he clarified. But in the cases pertaining to divorce, succession and maintenance of children after three notices, the case is closed and no reply is sought from the respondent.

Most of the cases have been filed by women who want divorce. While only four divorces cases have been filed by men. There is no provision for maintenance of divorced wife beyond the four and a half month period of Iddat, said Mufti Jaipuri.

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