HC seeks GOI response
Srinagar: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed before the J&K High Court for opening of a ‘Shariah Banking Window’ in all bank branches in Jammu & Kashmir and also in other states of India. The petition has been filed by Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Forum.
Advocate Altaf Haqani, appearing for the forum, sought the High Court’s directions to enable banking according to Shariah rules for the public good. He argued before the court that Shariah banking will most help poor people who have to face humiliation from banks for recovery of loans. Shariah banking provides loans without interest and these will be much easier for poor people to repay, he argued.
Haqani further argued that if developed countries could institute Islamic banking, why were J&K and India lagging behind? He quoted the Quran, the Bible and the Vedas to make the point that taking Riba (interest) is not approved by God.
Assistant Solicitor General Tahir Majid Shamsi argued before the court that Islamic Banking will have a bad impact on economy and it cannot be incorporated in banking practices.
Hearing the PIL, a division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, to file his response within four weeks.
The court also remarked that the issue would be considered based on facts and its application to the public cause.
The respondents named in the PIL are the Union Of India through its Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India through its Governor, the State of Jammu and Kashmir through its Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary Finance, and the Chairman (Chief Executive Officer) of Jammu and Kashmir Bank.