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Can A Kazi Adjudicate Disputes And Issue Orders Like A Court? Madhya Pradesh HC answers.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court, in the case of Aadil v. Union of India and others (W.P No.24741/2018), through the Division Bench of Vivek Rusia and Rajendra Kumar (Verma), JJ., held that- If a Kazi 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.

 

Brief Facts Of The Case: A Public Interest Litigation was filed alleging that respondents 4 to 8 were operating a parallel court system in violation of the Indian Constitution and the country’s established legal and judicial system. They were said to be conducting their own courts and issuing orders and judgments in their own affairs. Respondent 7 allegedly issued such orders to petitioner, and petitioner claimed to be a victim of them. Furthermore, the petitioner provided one of the decisions issued by respondent 7 on an application for divorce filed by his wife, dubbed “Khula,” in which he made several claims against him. Under the Kanoon-E-Shariat, she sought Talaq.

 

According to the petitioner, respondent 7 continued with the process and ordered the Talaq (divorce) by Khula, which is not permitted under Indian law. The petitioner claimed that respondent 7 was entertaining such issues and making orders in the subject that were liable to be brought before the Court for adjudication under the guise of respondents 4, 5 & 6. Because no action had been taken, the petitioner filed a Public Interest Litigation with this Court. Respondent 6, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had argued that the personal law governing marriage and divorce must be controlled by Muslim personal law as acknowledged by them in their religious denominational books. It is also claimed that Kazis nominated by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board are given explicit instructions not to accept issues in which the parties have already addressed a court of law or refuse to agree to an amicable conclusion. As a result, they are not alternative court systems founded in defiance of or in opposition to the country’s recognised judicial system.

 

Judgement: The Madhya Pradesh High Court stated that in view of the Supreme Court decision in Vishwa Lochan Madan v. Union of India, and the arguments advanced by the Senior Counsel A.M. Mathur, the order passed by Chief Kazi on an application filed by respondent 8 had no legal sanctity. The Kazi is only allowed to join into a negotiation/mediation between parties in order to settle the issue, according to the Bench.

 

The Court also stated that the Legal Services Authority of Jabalpur and Indore has trained more than 70 volunteers from various communities and religions to act as mediators in community disputes that are not resolved in court. While disposing of the writ petition, the High Court held that this Court won’t express any view in respect of the matrimonial dispute of the parties albeit they are free to access the remedies provided under the law.

 

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRAKIRTI JENA

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