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Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition: Masjid's Committee Members Get Protection Against Coercive Action From Allahabad High Court In Forgery Case

Sparsh Upadhyay
1 Jun 2021 3:48 PM GMT
Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition: Masjids Committee Members Get Protection Against Coercive Action From Allahabad High Court In Forgery Case
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The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) last week stayed the arrest of Gareeb Nawaz Masjid's Committee members against whom an FIR has been filed accusing them of forging Mosque's documents.It may be noted that the Masjid was demolished earlier this month by the district administration in Barabanki, claiming it to be an "illegal structure". Thereafter, the Barabanki Police had lodged a...

The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) last week stayed the arrest of Gareeb Nawaz Masjid's Committee members against whom an FIR has been filed accusing them of forging Mosque's documents.

It may be noted that the Masjid was demolished earlier this month by the district administration in Barabanki, claiming it to be an "illegal structure". Thereafter, the Barabanki Police had lodged a case against eight people "who were members of a committee", for allegedly resorting to fraud and cheating to get the mosque registered as a Waqf property.

The Bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava directed that until a police report under Section 173(2) Cr.P.C. is filed, the petitioners shall not be subjected to any coercive measures.

The matter before the Court

By means of a petition, the petitioners assailed the F.I.R.  under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 I.P.C. submitting that the F.I.R. was lodged against the petitioners does not specifically mention of any public document, which has either been forged or manipulated by the petitioners in any manner.

The FIR was registered against the President of the Committee, Mushtaq Ali, Vice-President Waqeel Ahmad, Secretary Mohamad Aneesh, and Dastageer, Afzaal Mohammad Naseem, along with Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board Inspector Mohammad Taha, and thus, they moved the High Court for relief.

It may be noted that the High Court has already issued an order (still in force) specifically halting the demolition activities during the pandemic period, yet the demolition of the Mosque took place which has been widely covered in the media report.

Submissions made

It was argued that the very contents of the F.I.R. are thus false and unfounded and that the alleged mosque was a wakf by a user and was registered as a waqf property.

It was also submitted that the rights were protected under a judicial order passed by this Court.

Opposing the maintainability of the writ petition, the State could not clear as to what documents were specifically were forged by the petitioners, however, it was submitted that the investigation was still pending. 

It is also submitted that for lack of instructions a clear position couldn't be brought to the notice of the Court, thus, time was prayed for filing a counter-affidavit.

Thus, the Court directed that a counter affidavit be filed within three weeks. 

Case title - Mushtaq Ali & Ors. v. State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home & Ors. 

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