Governance, Indian Polity & Constitution
Context: The long-pending challenge to the practice of excommunication in the Shia sect has been referred to the 9-judge Bench hearing the Sabarimala review petition on essential religious practice.
Who are the Dawoodi Bohras?
- Shia Muslims whose leader is known as the Al-Dai-Al-Mutlaq.
- There are around 1 million Dawoodi Bohras spread around the world.
- The main language of the community is Lisan al-Dawat, a dialect of Gujarati with inclusions from Arabic and Urdu.
Practice of excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community
- The leader of the community is recognised by the members as having the right to excommunicate its members.
- In practical terms, excommunication means not being allowed to access a mosque belonging to the community or a burial dedicated to the community.
Legal validity of excommunication?
- Article 25 – Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion
- Article 26 – Freedom to manage religious affairs
- The practice was claimed to be essential to the Dawoodi Bohra faith.
- SC’s view- The SC held in 1962 held that the Dai’s position is an essential part of the community.
What is the plea now?
- The 2016 Act– The Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016 prohibits social boycott of a person or a group of persons describing it as “inhuman”.
- The act defines 16 types of social boycott– including preventing members of a community from having access to facilities including community halls, and burial grounds, among others.
- It is termed as a violation of fundamental rights punishable with imprisonment for up to 3 years.
- Supreme Court’s consideration– The Supreme Court has said that it would consider whether the practice protected by the 1962 constitutional bench order can continue.
- It is referred to the 9-judge Bench hearing the Sabarimala review petition on essential religious practice.
Source: Indian Express
For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…