There is a raging discussion going on whether we should abolish Qazi courts or not. Lets’ look at the pros and cons.
Qazi courts had been established in 1920’s and had been in practice since then. It is a place where the Muslim married couples seek advice on reconciliation or divorce. The Qazi is a person form the local area who knows the laws of Islamic jurisprudence on these matters and his first aim is to reconcile the couple amicably. In case it is not possible, to give the divorce the way Islam has prescribed.
The advantages of hearing these cases in the qazi courts are:
- In the qazi courts – It’s private, heard by a Muslim, in the couple’s language, whereas in District courts, the language mostly will be different and the judges mostly will be from another religion and it is heard with the litigants of other cases and all the officers also being present, listening in. No privacy at all. The litigants will have to stand in the witness stand which alone can be quite unnerving for the persons concerned.
- In the Qazi courts – Not a cent is necessary to be spent – whereas in District courts, to apply for the case to be lodged itself at least Rs.25000 has to be paid and, a lawyer has to be hired, by each party separately, costing around minimum Rs.20000 to each, every time the case is heard or even postponed.
- In the Qazi courts – No lawyers are allowed to appear for the litigants hence no lawyer fees involved. – In District courts every time lawyers have to be paid and the travelling etc. also are additional costs.
- In the Qazi courts -Usually the case concluded within 6-7 months – In District courts, it will take from 1 year to 20 years and even after that the case can be dismissed without a solution. During this long period, the wife can neither live with the husband nor marry another person. Even the husband may not be able to marry again since many a second wife will insist on the divorce certificate for the second marriage.
- In the Qazi courts -Counselling by Muslim professionals or by involvement of the family members for reconciliation is available – In District courts, the counsellors are not always Muslims.
- In the Qazi courts – Islamic method followed in pronouncing the divorce – In District courts, only a divorce case report will be given.
- In the Qazi courts -The couple can request for divorce for any genuine reasons. In District courts, divorce is granted only for 3 reasons, namely, desertion, adultery and untreatable impotence at the time of marriage. So if these are not the real reasons for divorce, the lawyers will concoct and lie for the client which of course is haram and a sin.
- In the Qazi courts – The litigants can tell their own problems in their own words – In District courts they will have to convey through the lawyers. Th lawyers may not say exactly what the client wants to express.
- In the Qazi courts -The case is heard in private therefore outsiders don’t come to hear of the short comings of the couples. In District courts the crowd in the court will hear the accusations and short comings and this can affect not only the prospect of the persons concerned getting married in future but also tarnish their standing in the society.
- Most of all, it is easy to destroy such a wonderful concession granted to the Muslims by law for so long, but to build such a system for us again may not be even be possible.
It is true some Qazis have been found to be wanting in many aspects, but it does not warrant abolition of the system, rather it should be reformed in such a way that such short comings should not happen in this system.
If someone argues there should be ”One country, one law,” – considering all the advantages this system has, it is better for everyone to adopt this system of resolving marriage problems in special courts established for this cause.
Let’s all strive to preserve this wonderful system and work towards rectifying any short falls to make it a fool proof system of justice.
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Disclaimer: Why we should not abolish Qazi courts. by Dr.Reffai - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view