The petitioner sought to declare that “kazis” in India, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu, are not empowered to certify talaq.
Chennai: The Madras high court has said that no certificate in respect of triple talaq would be issued by the chief kazi, pending consideration of the matter by the Muslim Personal Law Board.
Passing interim orders, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M.M. Sundresh also clarified that the certificate issued by the chief kazi is only an opinion and has no legal sanctity under Section 4 of the Kazis Act. “The order be circulated by the registrar of the court to the judicial forums for clarity and it is open to the concerned petitioners to give adequate publicity to the same,” the bench added and posted the matter to February 21 for further hearing.
Former MLA and former additional advocate-general Bader Sayeed moved the court seeking directions to restrain the kazis from issuing certificates and other documents approving talaq. The petitioner sought to declare that “kazis” in India, particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu, are not empowered to certify talaq and consequently forbid them from issuing certificate and other documents certifying or approving talaq.
Pointing out Section 4 of the Kazis Act, the bench said the provision makes it clear that the office of the kazi does not confer on the person any judicial or administrative power. A counsel, appearing for the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board and Shariath Defence Forum, seek to suggest that the nature of certificates issued by the chief kazi was only as an opinion having expertise of Sharia law. On the other hand, the petitioners contended that the nature of certificates issued were causing immense confusion in the matrimonial proceedings.
The bench said counsel appearing for board stated that the board was willing to examine the format in which a certificate may be issued purely as an opinion of the chief kazi having expertise in Shariat law, so that there was no ambiguity before any legal forum or otherwise understanding the effect of it, i.e., that it was a mere opinion. “We, thus, give time to the Board to formulate the format of the certificate and place a draft of that certificate before use so that the inputs from other stakeholders are made available in case there are any suggestions. In the meantime, to avoid any confusion, we issue the directions”, the bench added and issued the above directions.