By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 12: The Supreme Court on Monday imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on former chairman of Shia Waqf Board Syed Waseem Rizvi, who had sought the deletion of 26 verses from the Quran, which he claims are used as “justifications” by Islamist terrorist groups for attacks on “non-believers”.

“It is an absolutely frivolous petition,” a bench, headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman, said, the Hindustan Times reported. The bench also included Justices BR Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy.

Rizvi’s petition had alleged that 26 verses/suras contained in the Quran violated the law of the land, promoted extremism and terrorism, and threatened sovereignty, unity, and integrity of the country.

He sought a declaration from the court to hold those verses unconstitutional, non-effective and non-functional.

The plea also asked for the appointment of a committee of religious experts to get an opinion on the subject matter of the petition while seeking a directive to the Union government to declare its policy on the subject/issue white paper or pass appropriate legislation.

In his plea, Rizvi stated that Islam is based on the concepts of equity, equality, forgiveness and tolerance but due to extreme interpretations of the said verses of the holy book, the religion has been drifting away from the basic tenets.

The plea of Rizvi has drawn massive backlash with several Muslim outfits and Islamic clerics protesting against the former chairman of the Waqf Board.

Last month, the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) had issued a notice to Rizvi asking him to withdraw his comments on the Quran failing which, it said, it will hold a hearing and direct authorities to take appropriate legal action against him.

The NCM had further observed that the remarks made by Rizvi appeared to be a well-thought conspiracy to disturb the communal harmony of the country.

An FIR was last month registered in Bareilly against Rizvi for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of Muslims with his petition in the top court. The FIR was registered at the Kotwali police station following complaints by Anjuman Khuddam-e-Rasool secretary Shan Ahmed and an organisation known as Ittehad-e-Millat council.

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