A petition asking for some verses to be removed from the Quran was dismissed today by the Supreme Court, which also fined the petitioner Rs 50,000 for filing a “frivolous” request.
Petitioner Sayed Wasim Rizvi, a former Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board chairman, had called for removing 26 verses in the Quran that he said were not part of its original text. In the controversial petition, he said the verses violated the law of the land and were used as “justification” to attack non-believers and civilians.
“Are you seriously pressing the petition,” a three judge-bench led by Rohington Nariman questioned, calling it “absolutely frivolous”.
Sayed Wasim Rizvi’s petition had called for the verses to be declared “unconstitutional, non-effective and non-functional”, insisting that these promoted extremism and terrorism and posed a serious threat to the sovereignty, unity and integrity of the country.
The petitioner argued that Madrasas were teaching children these verses “which are leading to cross-border terrorism” and said the Centre must be directed to act.
The petition led to protests, with the All India Shia Personal Law Board and other Muslim organisations condemning Sayed Wasim Rizvi and accusing him of spreading discord by quoting the Quran out of context.
“No verse of Quran provokes people to commit violence,” said Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi, the General secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
The National Commission for Minorities had also issued notice to the petitioner accusing him of trying to disturb communal harmony and had asked him to apologise.