Draft of proposed law to regulate madrasas submitted to law dept

Karachi:May 15:Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sindh has prepared a drafted of a “Deeni Madaris Act” and submitted it to the law department for approval in the next session of the provincial assembly.

Talking to The News on Saturday, Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi, chief of the CTD, said the draft of the proposed legislation had been put up before the law department for final approval and it would be presented before the provincial legislature in the next session.

He added that the draft was prepared after a decision taken by the government, which had earlier formed a committee to propose suggestions for the registration of madrasas in Sindh.

Moreover, he said, it was the first-ever proposed law on the registration of madrasas in Pakistan.

Abbasi said the proposed legislation was aimed at creating a formal mechanism for registering, regulating and facilitating religious seminaries in the province. He was of the view that it was essential that all citizens be treated in accordance with the law as provided in Article 4 of the Constitution of Pakistan and there was an urgent need to recognise the system of Islamic education in Sindh.

Moreover, he said, it was also essential to draw up a legal framework for madrasas and have a formal mechanism for registering, regulating and facilitating them.

The title of the propopsed law is the Sindh Deeni Madaris Act, 2016 and it would extend to the whole of the province of Sindh and come into force at once.

Abbasi said “Deeni Madaris” are religious institutions primarily for religious education and include Jamia, Dar-ul-Uloom, schools, colleges or universities, set up for primarily imparting religious education and providing boarding and lodging facilities.

Madrasa registration

According to the proposed law, all Deeni Madaris operating in the province or any new madrasa proposed to be established shall be required to obtain a registration certificate to be issued by the divisional registrar.

Even if Deeni Madaris are already registered under any other law, they will have to obtain the registration certificate under the act within a period of six months of its coming into existence.

The applicant shall submit the registration form, duly filled with all details required, to the divisional registrar and the applicant along with the registration form shall also submit the following documents to the divisional registrar.

The required documents include a no-objection certificate issued by the deputy commissioner, no-objection certificate issued by the superintendent of police, approved building plan issued by the Sindh Building Control Authority.

Also needed would be a certificate issued by the Department of Religious Affairs, showing the faculty of the madrasa has required expertise to impart religious education. The divisional registrar after ascertaining that all information required has been provided would issue the registration certificate within 30 days of receiving the application.

In case, the divisional registrar feels that the application does not warrant the issuance of the registration certificate or rejects the application, a right of hearing shall be given to the applicant by the divisional registrar and, thereafter, a speaking order shall be issued by the divisional registrar.

The applicant being aggrieved by the order issued by the divisional registrar may approach the secretary, Home Department, by filing an appeal within 30 days from the date of the order.

The secretary, Home Department, shall conduct a hearing of the appeal and decide the same within 30 days of the filing of the appeal.

Registration validity

The registration certificate issued under the act shall be valid for a period of two years from the date of its issuance.

Registration renewal

All Deeni Madaris registered under the act shall obtain a renewal of the registration from the divisional registrar.

The renewal form shall be submitted to the divisional registrar at least two months before the validity period of the registration is to expire and the renewal form shall be accompanied by audited accounts of the madrasa, details of foreign funding, if any, details of foreign students, along with a certificate that the foreign student possess a valid visa and permission to study and a declaration that all requirements of the act have been complied with.

Cancellation

Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi said that, in case, it is found that a madrasa has given incorrect details in the form or a madrasa established before the commencement of this act does not get registered within six months of the commencement of this act, or has violated any provision of the act or any other law, the divisional registrar shall have the power to cancel the registration of the madrasa. or take control of the administration of the Madrasa. Moreover, the registration shall not be cancelled without affording any opportunity of hearing to the madrasa administration.

According to the draft of the proposed law, no madrasa shall be sealed or closed until the opportunity of hearing is provided. However, in case the violation is such that there is an imminent threat of breach of peace or any other threat to the society, the divisional registrar or the government shall have the power to seal the madrasa forthwith without any opportunity of hearing being provided.

Funding

The government shall within one year of the coming into effect of this act establish a fund by the name of “Sindh Madrasa Education Fund”.

The fund shall be used by the government for facilitating and supporting the imparting of education in religious seminaries under the act.

Rule-making powers

The government may by a notification in the official gazette make rules for implementing the proposals of the act.

If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this act, the government may, by order in the official gazette, make such provisions not inconsistent with the provisions of this act as appear to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty.

Abbasi said that, after the approval of this act, the writ of the government shall be established and if any madrasa found involved in terrorism strict action will be taken by the government.

He added that, through this law, financial audits of madrasas shall be easily done and if a madrasa is found involved in money-laundering it shall be dealt with through this law.The news.