NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court has ruled that Islamic courts in the country have no legal authority, though individuals still may follow their rulings.

Judge C. K. Prasad said Monday that Indian law does not recognize Shariah court rulings.

India is a predominantly Hindu country with a sizable Muslim minority. According to Monday’s ruling, Muslims may abide by a Shariah court ruling if they wish, but individuals cannot be legally forced to recognize the decision.

The case dates to 2005 when a Muslim woman was raped by her father-in-law. A Shariah court ordered her marriage annulled and demanded she live with her father-in-law.

A New Delhi-based lawyer petitioned the Supreme Court questioning whether Shariah law can legally pass judgment in cases involving the fundamental rights of individuals.

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