Child rights panel writes to UP to act on Deoband fatwas

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The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights has called on the government of Uttar Pradesh to “review” and “investigate” the fatwas of the Darul Uloom Deoband on education, adoption and other issues related to children, saying that many decisions of the Islamic seminary are in force. violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The commission ordered the UP government to “immediately remove” content from the seminar’s website and report to it within 10 days on the action taken.

The NCPCR’s letter, sent to the Sahranpur District Magistrate as well as the UP Chief Secretary and the DGP, is based on a complaint it received against Darul Uloom Deoband’s website and “illegal fatwas and misleading” issued by them.

Darul Uloom’s spokesman, Ashraf Usmani, said the seminar has yet to receive notice, however. “We haven’t received any information from any official channel about this,” he said.

In the letter, NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo said that following the complaint, Darul Uloom’s website was reviewed and “it was observed that the explanations and responses provided in response to the issues raised by individuals are not in accordance with the laws and acts of the country”. .”

The letter points out that the Darul Uloom considered adoptions illegal and declared that the adopted child could not become heir to property. “It is pertinent to mention here that such fatwas not only deceive the law of the land, but are also illegal in nature,” the letter said.

“The Constitution of India guarantees the fundamental rights of children, including the right to education and the right to equality. Furthermore, the Hague Convention on Adoption, to which India is a signatory, stipulates that adopted children shall enjoy the same rights as biological children. The Juvenile Justice Act 2015, in section 2(2), defines adoption as the process by which an adopted child is permanently separated from their biological parents and becomes the legitimate child of their adoptive parents with all rights, privileges and responsibilities attached thereto. a biological child,” the letter continues.

“Therefore, any child adopted by prospective adoptive parents enjoys the same rights and privileges as a biological child, including inheritance rights,” the commission said.

The plaintiff, said the NCPCR, mentioned similar fatwas regarding the school curriculum, university uniform, education of children in an “un-Islamic” atmosphere, higher education of girls in madrasas, and corporal punishment.

One fatwa allows corporal punishment, while another says girls should only be taught by female teachers after a certain age and even school uniforms can be “un-Islamic”, the commission observed.

These decisions, according to the NCPCR, violate sections 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and also violate section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015 for cruelty to children.

“Access to this website may be prevented until such content is removed to prevent the spread and repetition of unlawful statements and thereby prevent incidents of violence, abuse, neglect, harassment, discrimination against children.In addition, action may be taken for violation of the provisions of the Constitution of India, the Indian Penal Code, the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and the Law Act 2009. to education,’ he said.

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