On Friday night, Kerala police registered a rape case against Kozhikode Grand Qazi Sayyid Muhammed Koya Jamalullaili. A woman from Kannur filed a complaint with the Kozhikode Women’s Cell, stating that Qazi had sexually assaulted her in Parappanangadi, Malappuram, two years ago. The Qazi’s house is in Parappanangadi.
A Qazi is like a magistrate or judge of an Islamic sharīʿa court, who also exercises extrajudicial functions, such as mediation. These sharia courts function as part of the parallel legal regime in all Muslim nations, as well as ‘secular’ democracies like Bharat.
The 33-year-old lady, a mother of two, said she had approached Qazi to settle a dispute with her husband. She had divorced her first husband, remarried, and settled in Kozhikode. Unable to continue her relationship with her second husband, she contacted the Mahal Committee, which introduced her to the Qazi. Mediation talks were held with the second husband, and a divorce agreement was prepared through her lawyers.
As per reports, the woman has alleged that the Qazi raped her several times on the pretext of a false marriage promise. A police official said that a case has been registered against the Qazi for rape and intimidation under IPC sections 376 and 506.
Meanwhile, the Qazi office in Kozhikode noted that the allegations against Jamalullaili were baseless. The office said the woman had come up with a fake complaint as part of coercive tactics. They released a press note, and the contents are as follows.
It was decided that the second husband should pay compensation of Rs.7 lakh to the complainant. It was agreed that Rs 1 lakh be paid in advance, and the rest of the money would be delivered within two years. After receiving the advance amount, the lady returned to Kannur.
Later, the lady approached the mediators for the rest of the money. She informed the negotiators that she was evicted from the flat where she and her children were staying. The notice from Qazi’s office alleged that she threatened them and demanded they arrange the balance amount from her second husband.
They were trying to solve the problem with the second husband when she came forward with a ‘false’ complaint. The Qazi Committee Secretary alleged that this is only part of the pressure strategy and that the public should not ‘misunderstand’.