The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has granted three more weeks to government authorities to respond to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the introduction of Islamic banking in the Union Territory (UT).
A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma Chief while hearing the PIL filed by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) granted three more weeks to the Union Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the UT government to respond to the contents of the PIL.
Advocate Zaffar Shah representing the J&K Bank informed the court that already a response has been filed by the bank with respect to the litigation.
Currently, there are no guidelines for Islamic banking, which is based on the principles of not charging interest.
The PIL filed in 2018 is seeking directions upon the union finance ministry for issuing necessary notification for the introduction of Sharia compliant windows (Islamic banking) as recommended by Deepak Mohanty Committee as well as in the light of a report of the inter-departmental group of the RBI.
The NGO, in its petition, submits that “majority of the citizens in 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”.
It has also sought direction to J&K Bank to take immediate steps for opening of Shariah compliant windows to accomplish the object of mass-level participation in Shariah banking.
“The J&K Bank Limited be directed to place the entire details of non-performing accounts (NPAs) before this court and the steps taken for recovery of the outstanding amount as the same is public money which cannot be allowed to be misappropriated either by the account holders or by the management of the said bank,” the plea reads.