Waseem Rizvi writ seeking removal of 26 verses from the Quran had triggered a furore in the country with Muslims demanding his arrest
Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Muslim Community leaders across the religious spectrum welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling dismissing a petition by Waseem Rizvi seeking removal of certain verses from the Holy Quran.
Rizvi, former Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chief, had last month filed a writ petition in the apex court seeking removal of 26 verses from Quran on the ground that they allegedly promote hatred and terror. On Monday, a bench headed by Justice R. F. Nariman not only rejected the petition but also slapped a cost of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner. The bench also observed that “This is an absolutely frivolous writ petition.”
“The court has done the right thing by binning this petition,” said Kalbe Jawad, a prominent Shia Muslim cleric based in Lucknow.
Maulana Saif Abbas, another Shia cleric in Lucknow, also welcomed the apex court decision by saying that the petition was bound to be dismissed. “It is a well settled law that does not allow such petitions questioning holy scriptures.”
“We appreciate the decision of the Supreme Court,” said Niyaz Faruqui, spokesperson of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. “The court has nipped the evil in the bud.”
The petition by Waseem Rizvi had triggered a furore in the country with Muslims demanding his arrest. Police cases were also registered against him for hurting religious sentiments of Muslims. As the petition made its way to the top court the legal experts observed that it was not within the domain of Supreme Court to make changes on the content of religious scripture.
The petition was also seen as a tactic by Rizvi to gain cheap publicity and support of the Hindutva groups as he is facing CBI investigation into the allegations of swindling large sums of money during his tenure as chief of Shia Waqf Board.
“The court decision is a welcome step as it was evident that he was doing it for fame and to please Hindu rightwing parties,” alleged Navaid Hamid, chairman All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawrat, the umbrella body of Muslim organisations in Indi.
The Muslim leaders hailed the decision as historical. They feel by dismissing this petition, the Supreme Court has shut the door for future controversial petitions attacking holy books. “This is a historical decision and the Supreme Court deserves all the praise and gratitude for it,” said Kalbe Jawad.
Other community leaders said that the ruling has raised their hopes in institutions in fulfilling their role set by the constitution.
“This is a matter of happiness. We knew this was the likely outcome of the petition and the judiciary has met our expectation,” said Maulana Khalil ur Rehman Sajad Nomani, the spokesperson of All India Muslim Personal Law Board. “If institutions work as per law, the country will not have to waste its energies on non-issues.”
Kalbe Jawad and Abbas appreciated the way Muslim community responded to the issue. They said the community showed patience and expressed their reactions on such an emotive issue peacefully. “The people protested peacefully and did not let his nefarious designs of sowing communal discard succeed, ” said Kalbe Jawad.
He hailed the decision of the court to impose cost of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner. “This is a lesson for people like Rizvi who try to vitiate the atmosphere and attempt to disrupt communal and sectarian harmony.”