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Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea Against Proposed Removal Of Saidabad Shahi Masjid For Widening Of State Highway

Sparsh Upadhyay
21 Aug 2022 3:30 PM GMT
Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea Against Proposed Removal Of Saidabad Shahi Masjid For Widening Of State Highway
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The Allahabad High Court recently dismissed a writ plea moved against the proposed removal of the Shahi Masjid located at G.T. Road, Saidabad (purportedly more than 100 years old) for the purposes of a state highway widening project.The bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Sadhna Rani (Thakur) refused to entertain the plea moved Intezamia Committee Shahi...

The Allahabad High Court recently dismissed a writ plea moved against the proposed removal of the Shahi Masjid located at G.T. Road, Saidabad (purportedly more than 100 years old) for the purposes of a state highway widening project.

The bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Sadhna Rani (Thakur) refused to entertain the plea moved Intezamia Committee Shahi Masjid by taking into account the submission made by the official authoritires that the Masjid is an encroachment on the government land.

"Looking to the stand taken by the authorities in the written instruction supplied today and the enclosure appended therein and in view of the categorical stand of the respondents that the existing construction of Shahi Masjid situated on Prayagraj to Handia stretch of State Highway 106 is an encroachment on the government land namely Gata no.402 as per the report of the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia, Prayagraj, we are not in a position to issue mandamus as claimed by the petitioner herein," the Court observed.

The Court further noted that the claim made by the petitioner and report submitted in that regard that the construction (Shahi Masjid) is existing for a long time i.e. since before the independence, was not backed by concrete data or material.

"A perusal of the said report indicates that the report is based on the statement made by the people of the locality and there is no data or material which was looked into by the reporting officer before making the above statement with regard to the existence of Shahi Masjid."

Essentially, the petitioner (Intezamia Committee Shahi Masjid) had moved to the Court challenging the decision to remove the entire Shahi Masjid located at G.T. Road, Saidabad. The Court had called for a response from the official authorities.

Pursuant to court's order, last week the Standing Counsel submitted a report prepared by the office of the Executive Engineer Construction Division, Public Works Department wherein it was stated that the said Shahi Masjid is constructed on the Government land and therefore, it is an encroacment that was to be removed.

To further substantiate its argument regarding the removal of the concerned mosque, the state respondents submitted that the widening of road has become unavoidable in national interest due to increasing traffic and accordingly, a decision has been taken that all the structures, whether new or old lying within State land boundary removal of which, for the widening of the road is unavoidable and those are an encroachment on the government land, be removed for the government project of road widening.

Against this backdrop, it was submitted that the said Shahi Masjid is also an encroachment upon the state land and has to be removed for widening of the road.

In view of these submission made by the state government, the Court observed that that since the dispute was about the title to the property over which the construction exists, therefore, the Court added, it was appropriate that for any claim with regard to the land over which Shahi Masjid exists, be taken up in the civil court by filing the civil suit seeking declaration or necessary relief in the same.

Consequenetly, noting that the matter can't be entertained within the scope of the writ petition, the Court dismissed the writ plea and observed that if the petitioner approaches the civil court, it would be under obligation to decide the matter independently without being influenced by any of the observations made by the HC.

Case title - Intezamia Committee Shahi Masjid v. State Of U.P. And 2 Others [WRIT - C No. - 15737 of 2022]

Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 384

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