The petitioner has quoted a statement of first judge of the ‘Hindu Court’ wherein she allegedly said that these ‘Hindu Courts’ would have power to hand down capital punishment as well.
LUCKNOW — The Allahabad High Court has been approached with a plea to order dismantling of ‘Hindu Courts’ because their establishment “is a defect way of dividing the country and creating secession.” The petitioner has urged the court to restrain the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Maha Sabha from constituting such courts in the future.
According to the Public Interest Litigation, the Hindu Maha Sabha has set up a ‘Hindu Court’ on 15th August and appointed its National Secretary Ms. Pooja Shakun Pandey as the first judge of the Hindu Court. The Hindu-right outfit has planned to establish five more ‘Hindu Courts’ on 15th November this year.
As per a report in LiveLaw.in, the PIL has been filed by Allahabad-based lawyer Ankit Singh through Advocate Rohan Gupta.
“…the establishment of such ‘Hindu courts’ is a defect way of dividing the country and creating secession. It endorses an unhealthy precedent of mainstream religion-based justice system in secular India. Therefore, the establishment of such courts is clearly against the spirit of secularism, which is deeply embodied in our Constitution and forms a part of its basic structure…the ‘Hindu Courts’ are wholly illegal, an outrage to the Constitution and an affront to the Judiciary and must be stamped out ruthlessly,” contends the PIL.
It further asserts that establishment of a “religion based Hindu Judicial System” would be “an affront to the judicial system and the Constitution of the Country, while tarnishing the secular character of the nation”.
The petitioner has alleged that Hindu Maha Sabha is setting up such courts “seemingly to capitalize on the communal atmosphere prevalent in the state”.
In Uttar Pradesh, BJP is in power since March 2017 and Yogi Adityanath is Chief Minister. The state government has taken several steps in the last one and half years that have hit the minority community. Soon after he assumed office, the Yogi government ordered crackdown on slaughterhouses across the state. Madrasas were singled out for Independence Day programs as they were asked to video-record their programs on Independence Day and send to concerned authorities.
Of late, there have been incidents of mob lynching in the name of cow or beef.
The PIL has quoted some statements of Pandit Ashok Sharma, National Vice President of the Hindu Maha Sabha wherein he allegedly said that his out was setting up a Hindu Court since the Government had not done anything about the establishment of Sharia Courts in the country.
The PIL has also referred to a statement issued by Ms. Pandey, first judge of the ‘Hindu Court’, wherein she reportedly said that these courts would have the power to hand down capital punishment as well.
Highlighting such statements, the petition asserts that the Hindu Maha Sabha wants to “take law in their own hands”, and that setting up of such Courts amounts to establishment of an adjudicatory mechanism parallel to the Courts, “which is clearly usurping the sovereign functions of the State”.
Meanwhile, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which has been running Sharia panchayats, has clarified that these Shariah panchayats are not criminal courts, but just counseling centres where family disputes like divorce are resolved.