SC Quashes Plea to Scrap 26 Verses From Quran, Slaps Rs 50k Fine

Rizvi had sought removal of 26 verses of Quran, which he said promoted Jihad and insurgency among the Muslim youth.

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India
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The Supreme Court on  12 April slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on former UP Shia Waqf Chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi seeking removal of certain verses from Quran.
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The Supreme Court on Monday, 12 April, slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on former Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairperson Syed Waseem Rizvi seeking removal of certain verses from the holy book of Quran on the ground that they allegedly promote hatred and terror.

Calling the petition “absolutely frivolous,” the apex court asked Rizvi's counsel if he was actually serious about the matter and keen on pressing the petition, according to IANS.

After hearing the arguments, the court dismissed the petition with a fine of Rs 50,000, to be paid to legal service authorities.

What Rizvi’s Counsel Argued

Rizvi's counsel argued that teaching in the holy book is not protected under Article 25 or 30 of the Constitution and cited issues with the interpretation of the verses.

The counsel further urged the top court to issue guidelines on the issue, so that students, studying in the madrasas under the government, are not indoctrinated.

The counsel said that Rizvi had also written to the central government on these issues in the past.

What Did Rizvi’s Petition Say?

Rizvi had moved the Supreme Court on 13 March alleging that the Holy Quran had 26 verses, which promoted Jihad and insurgency among the Muslim youth, and asked for them to be removed.

The petition alleged that “these verses were added at a later stage by the first three Caliphates to aid the expansion of Islam by war.”

The Condemnation of the Petition

The petition led to protests in several cities last month including Lucknow and Hyderabad, with many demanding Rizvi’s arrest.

Shia and Sunni clerics had reacted saying that not a word has been altered in the Holy Quran in 1,400 years.

Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad in a protest held in Lucknow on 15 March called Rizvi an “enemy of Islam and Quran” and called for a social boycott of him.

Senior BJP leader and spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain also criticised Rizvi asking him not to “vitilate the atmosphere of the country,” as it “hurts people’s sentiments.”

“It is my party’s stand that saying absurd things about any religious text, including Quran, is a highly condemnable act,” Hussain had told PTI.

The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had also issued a notice to Rizvi on15 March, condemning his alleged bid to disturb communal harmony in the country.

An FIR has been lodged against lawyer Amirul Hasan Zaidi, a former district bar association president, after his speech announcing a Rs 11 lakh reward for beheading Rizvi went viral on social media.

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