Sunday, August 14, 2022

Interest-free economy: PM Shehbaz Sharif assures JUI-F chief of withdrawing petition


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has assured Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman of withdrawing appeal against the Federal Shariat Court’s (FSC) verdict on the interest-free economy, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman met PM Shehbaz Sharif today in which he expressed his reservations regarding the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) appeal against the interest-free financial system.

He said that the appeals from the banks against the FSC order hurt the sentiment of the Muslim Ummah which considers the interest-based banking as a disastrous financial system in the country.

The premier assured Fazlur Rehman of withdrawing the NBP’s appeal against the FSC verdict. JUI-F spokesperson said that PM Sharif ordered the task force to take immediate steps for withdrawing the NBP’s appeal.


FSC verdict challenged

On June 25, the Federal Shariat Court’s verdict on the interest-free financial system had been challenged in the Supreme Court (SC).

The Federal Shariat Court had declared an interest-based financial system in the country against sharia in a landmark verdict in April.

Salman Akram Raja had filed appeal against the FSC verdict on behalf of the State Bank of Pakistan. Four commercial banks have also filed appeal against the Shariat court decision in which the ministries of finance, law, the Chairman Banking Council and others have been made respondents.

“The FSC in its decision didn’t keep in view the rules under the Supreme Court remand order,” according to the appeal. “The Federal Shariat Court declared the rules about saving certificates against Islam and also ordered amendment in these rules.”

The petitioners had sought approval of the appeal against the FSC decision. They pleaded for amending the court’s decision to the extent of the points raised in the decision.

FSC verdict

A three-member bench of the Federal Shariat Court in its verdict said that the existing laws related to riba and interest are against Shariah and it is the responsibility of the government to replace the existing system and bring laws in accordance to the guidance in Quran and Sunnah.

The court declared that banks and other financial institutions receiving interest is against Shariah. “Receiving additional amount on loans and change in agreement also comes under riba,” it ruled and directed the government to follow Shariah laws while finalizing agreements with the Chinese government for CPEC projects.

The court further set a deadline of 31 December 2027 to fully implement court’s order on elimination of interest from the country and said that the government could also implement the decision prior to the deadline.

The Full Bench of the Federal Shariat Court comprising of Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai Chief Justice, Justice Dr. Syed Muhammad Anwar and Mr. Justice Khadim Hussain M. Shaikh had reserved the verdict in Riba case on April 12.


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