Plea In HC For Islamic Banking In J&K

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday issued a notice to government of India and Jammu and Kashmir Bank among others on a petition, seeking introduction of Islamic Banking in the state.

The notice, returnable in four weeks, was issued by a Division Bench of Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice D S Thakur on a petition filed by an NGO—JK Peoples Forum— through its secretary M M Shuja.

The NGO seeks direction to GoI secretary to government, Ministry of Finance to file response and issue necessary notification for Introduction of Sharia Complaint windows (Islamic banking) as recommended by Deepak Mohanty Committee and report of the Inter- Departmental Group of RBI and Its Feasibility of Introducing Islamic Banking in India: Technical Analysis and RBI’s view and the conclusion drawn over it.

RBI’s Deepak Mohanty committee in its report posted on the RBI website on December 29, 2015 had recommended that banks open a separate window offering interest free Sharia compliance (Islamic banking) deposits and advances to address financial exclusion based on faith.

The Constitution of India as applicable to the state Jammu and Kashmir as also the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir guarantees every citizen within the country and within the state to profess, practice and propagate his/her faith and religion. The constitution also guarantees every Citizen the right of life and liberty and exercise and avail equal opportunities in the overall economic developmental process of the country and the state,” the petitioner says. “The majorities of the citizens in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are Muslims by faith and thus have a constitutional right to enjoy all avenues of development provided the same do not contravene the article of their faith,” the petitioner says, adding that it was common knowledge that receiving and giving of Interest (Riba) in Quranic parlance is prohibited (Haram) and was “widely” disliked by other faiths as well. He has referred to various verses Quran to substantiate the assertions.

The petitioner has sought direction from the Court to the Reserve Bank of India to take immediate steps in this constituent banks including the Jammu and Kashmir Bank limited so as to facilitate Shariah Compliant Windows (Islamic banking) was introduced . Besides, the petitioner has also sought directions to Jammu and Kashmir Bank Limited to place toentire details before the court regarding Non Performing Accounts (NPAs) and the steps taken for recovery of the outstanding amount in NPAs as the same is public money which cannot be allowed to b misappropriated either by the account holders or by the management of the bank.

The petitioner has also sought directions chairman of the J&K Bank to take immediate steps for opening of Shariah Compliant windows to accomplish the object of mass level participation in Shariah Banking by the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in particular and other people of the areas whereever the J&K Bank has established in its branches.

Shuja said that the chairman J&K Bank, after taking over as the chairman publically made announcements one after the other setting agenda for the bank to introduce Islamic Banking.

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