HC issues notices on feasibility of Islamic banking

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Mar 19: High Court today sought response from the authorities to the PIL seeking feasibility of introducing Islamic Banking in the State.
The Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice D S Thakur granted four weeks time to Union Ministry of Finance, Reserve Bank of India, Chief Secretary of State, Principal Secretary Finance and Jammu and Kashmir Bank for filing their response to the PIL.
Union Ministry and Reserve Bank were represented by their counsel Tashir Shamsi and State was represented by Government advocate Sheikh Umar. However nobody appeared on behalf of JK Bank as such notice has been issued to the Bank.
The PIL has been filed by an NGO (Peoples Forum) through its advocate Altaf Haqani with the prayer that Union Ministry of Finance be directed to file response and issue necessary notification for introduction of Sharia Complaint windows as recommended by Deepak Mohanty Committee and Report of the Inter- Departmental Group of RBI & Its Feasibility of Introducing Islamic Banking in India.
The Petitioner NGO further prays that Reserve Bank of India be commanded to take immediate steps in this constituent banks including the Jammu and Kashmir Bank so as to facilitate Shariah Compliant Windows.
JK Bank, NGO prays, be directed 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 where ever the J&K Bank has established in its branches.
The petitioner-NGO in its petition submits that the Constitution of India as applicable to the 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 and 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 majority 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”, reads the petition.