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Seminar on ‘Personal Laws in India: Conflicts and Resolutions’ held at AMU

By TCN News,

Aligarh: “We live in a society, which is very divergent; we live in integrated form, where other codes of law also share their space with us,” Brigadier S Ahmad Ali, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) pro-vice chancellor, said.

Brigadier Ali was presiding over a one-day national seminar on ‘Personal Laws in India: Conflicts and Resolutions’ organised by the Department of Law, AMU, on May 9, a release from AMU PRO said here.

Justice Kalimullah Khan addressing the National seminar at Dept. of Law.
Justice Kalimullah Khan addressing the National seminar at Dept. of Law.

Brigadier Ali added that Personal laws are very dear to the community and “any talk of amendment and alteration is not taken kindly because our belief is that personal laws are divine and cannot be scrutinized by anybody.” He hoped that the seminar will focus on the misuse of Personal Laws and ways to provide remedies in preventing the misuse.

He also said that in the past six decades, our country has witnessed a peaceful adherence of personal laws.

He further said that the Muslim Personal Law is very humane and balanced and if one goes through Surah Nisa of the Holy Quran, which deals with the laws related to women, he would find that the provisions for women are in consonance with modern times.

Elaborating the objectives of the seminar, director, Professor I A Khan said that the questions of cloning, surrogacy, live-in-relationship, gender justice, reform of personal laws and many other related issues are haunting the minds. He added that the one-day national seminar aims to assess, evaluate, analyze and examine the aforesaid and many other issues relating to personal laws searching solutions of problematic issues.

Professor Khan emphasized that AMU’s Department of Law is a big centre of Personal Law studies in India, which has produced many experts. “Since there are many personal laws in India and the lack of expertise on personal laws leads to problems, it is the high time for experts to sit together and find solutions,” added Professor Khan. He hoped that the suggestions emanating from this seminar will be of immense value for the legal fraternity.

The chief guest of the seminar, Justice (retd) Kalimullah Khan, High Court of Judicature, Allahabad, pointed out that since Indian Constitution provides freedom to citizens for following their respective personal laws, there is no conflict in between laws enacted by the Parliament and the Shariah.
“Personal Laws and other statutory laws are two separate forums and therefore should be dealt with accordingly,” added Justice Kalimullah.

Pointing out that the Department of Law has organized a national seminar after a hiatus of five years, organizing secretary of the seminar, Professor Shakeel Samdani said that Muslim Personal Law in India is largely available in Urdu and Persian text. “By introducing Urdu and Persian language papers in the BA LLB syllabus, we might be able to understand the Muslim Personal Law in a better way,” Professor Samdani said.

The University administration, including the dean, Faculty of Law, deserves appreciation for organizing this national seminar in which about 50 papers on different issues related to Muslim Personal Law were presented, said Prof Samdani.

Senior advocate, Supreme Court, Shakil Ahmad Syed pointed out that the Waqf properties worth millions of rupees should be utilized for the community. The government has made changes in the Waqf Laws and those changes are very good for the community for recovering the Waqf property, he added.

Suggesting that the law professionals have an important role to play, he further said that the law professionals have to be answerable to society and make sure that the Personal Laws are respected along with statutory laws. He further urged Muslims to understand their personal law and thereon pursue the courts to interpret Muslim Personal Law correctly, the release said.

Professor Mohammad Afzal Wani of New Delhi’s Indraprastha University said that the very first word of the Quran includes in itself all the disciplines of knowledge and the Magna Carta is nothing but the last sermon of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

The Seminar, which was attended by delegates, lawyers and academicians, focused on triple divorce, gender justice, female foeticide, live-in relationship, surrogacy, domestic violence, judicial activism, uniform civil code, property rights of women, majoritarian biases in the Indian Constitution, maintenance of Muslim divorcees, etc. The national seminar was chaired by Professor Afzal Wani, senior lawyer, Shakil Ahmad Syed, Professor I A Khan and Professor Zaheeruddin.

Professor Samdani also delivered the vote of thanks, the release added.