The Supreme Court today stayed an order of Uttarakhand High Court which had directed a blanket ban on Fatwas by religious bodies..The stay order was passed by a Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta in an appeal filed against the High Court verdict by by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind (appellant), one of the leading Islamic organisations in India..Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran appeared for the appellant..The High Court had banned Fatwas after taking note of a newspaper report. It had registered a suo moto case after the newspaper report was brought to its notice..As per the newspaper report, a Farman (Diktat) was issued by a Panchayat in Haridwar ordering a 15-year-old rape victim and her family to leave the village or compromise with the accused..“The panchayat, instead of sympathising with the rape victim, had the audacity to extern the family from the village. Fatwa is nothing but extra-constitutional adventurism, not permissible under the Constitution”, the High Court had said..The High Court had then placed reliance on the Supreme Court judgment in Vishwa Lochan Madan vs. Union of India & others which had held that fatwa is not a decree and is neither binding on anyone nor enforceable. On the basis of the said judgment, it had held that declaration of Fatwas are illegal and unconstitutional..This judgment is now under challenge in Supreme Court..The appellant has contended that the newspaper report speaks about the issuance of a Farman. The High Court erred in banning issue of fatwas by the religious bodies after misconstruing the ‘farman’ (Diktat) issued by panchayat as ‘fatwa’..“Hon’ble High Court has erred in treating the said ‘firman’ as ‘fatwa’ because even from the perusal of said news item of the Amar Ujala it transpires that the ‘farman’ issued by the panchayat was neither ‘fatwa’ nor it was issued by the Darul Ifta or Mufti on any religious issue.”.Quoting “Maulana Abdul Khalik Madrasi, deputy vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, the petition states that a Fatwa “is a advice or an opinion given in response to questions asked by an individual on a personal or religious matter. It is not binding on anyone. Whether the person who sought the advice follows it or not is his or her wish.”.Importantly, the petitioner has contended that the High Court misinterpreted and misapplied the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in Vishwa Lochan Madan case..In the said judgment, the petitioner submits, issuance of Fatwa on rights, status and obligation of individual Muslim, was held to be impermissible, unless asked for by the person concerned or in case of incapacity, by the person interested..“So the only rider in issuing fatwas is that it should not be issued without the permission of affected party in individual case….Hon’ble High Court mis-interpreted and mis-applied the law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in Vishwa Lochan Madan case (supra) while banning issuing fatwas by religious outfits/ bodies, as this Hon’ble Court has not declared the issuance of fatwa as illegal or unconstitutional.”.On the above grounds, the appellant has prayed for setting aside the High court judgment..The Court issued notice and stayed the High Court order.