By Faizan Mustafa,
The apex court in its landmark decision on 7th July, 2014 held that sharia courts are not courts as Indian legal does not recognize a parallel judicial system. In fact neither Muslim Personal Board nor seminary at Deoband ever asserted that sharia courts are ‘courts’ in the strict sense of the term. But then is it not a fact that privatization of justice is fact of life not only in India but in most developed countries? Does our law not recognize arbitration and other alternative methods of dispute resolution? Are not sharia courts and fatwas different and therefore should not be clubbed together? What has been the performance of sharia courts in last 94 years? Has not the latest decision given new lease of life to the sharia courts? are some of the pertinent issues which need critical examination.