Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition: Sunni Waqf Board & AIMPLB Move Allahabad High Court Seeking Reconstruction, Restoration Of Mosque

Sparsh Upadhyay
12 Jun 2021 11:55 AM GMT
Gareeb Nawaz Mosque Demolition: Sunni Waqf Board & AIMPLB Move Allahabad High Court Seeking Reconstruction, Restoration Of Mosque
x

The Sunni Waqf Board and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have moved their writ petitions before the Allahabad High Court against the recent demolition of the Gareeb Nawaz Mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Barbanki District (Ram Sanehi Ghat area). The petition by the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board has been filed through Advocate Syed Aftab Ahmed and All India...

The Sunni Waqf Board and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) have moved their writ petitions before the Allahabad High Court against the recent demolition of the Gareeb Nawaz Mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Barbanki District (Ram Sanehi Ghat area).

The petition by the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board has been filed through Advocate Syed Aftab Ahmed and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the High Court through Advocate Saud Rais.

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", therefore, the petitioners have sought directions to reconstruct and restore the Mosque.

It has been submitted by the Petitioners that the Mosque demolition proceedings by the local authorities under Section 133(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) had been done in a blatantly depraved and malicious manner out of complete animosity and ill will in an extremely hurried manner.

The pleas also state that the demolition was in flagrant violation of the order passed by the High Court wherein the State Government, Municipal Authorities and other Local Bodies and agencies and instrumentalities of the State Government were directed to be slow in taking action of demolition and eviction of persons till May 31, 2021.

The petitions aver that the Uttar Pradesh Government is trying to converting the nature of the site of the demolished Masjid by erecting some new structure thereon and in case the Petitioners are not heard urgently, they will suffer an irreparable loss and injury.

Averments in the plea

  • The mosque in question was neither an unlawful obstruction nor a nuisance and the same was, therefore, not amenable to a proceeding under section 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • The entire exercise of unlawful demolition of the mosque under the garb of Section 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is a complete eye-wash.
  • Since the mosque in question was not an unlawful obstruction or nuisance existing over any public place or way, river or channel, the provisions of Section 133 Cr.P.C. were not attracted by any methodology.
  • The entire exercise of unlawful demolition of the mosque under the garb of a proceeding under Section 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is a complete eye-wash.
  • As the property in question is Masjid, no proceedings could have been initiated without the issuance of notice to the Waqf Board (under Section 90(1) of the Waqf Act).
  • The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) could not have presided over the conduct of the proceedings u/s 133(1) of the CrPC.
  • During the course of enquiry, when the SDM got to know that the Masjid was a duly registered Waqf under the provisions of the Waqf Act, 1995, then he lost his jurisdiction to continue with the demolition proceedings, but still went ahead with the demolition not taking into account the provisions of Section 137(2) of CrPC.

The following prayers have been made in the petitions:

1. Set aside and quash the impugned order dated 03-04-2021 passed by SDM, Tehsil Ram Sanehi Ghat, Barabanki

2. To direct the local authorities to reconstruct and restore the masjid known as Masjid Gareeb Nawaz Al Maroof Tehsil Wali situated on the premises as it originally stood being.

3. To assess the damages caused by such demolition by holding an inquiry giving an adequate and effective opportunity to the Petitioners, the Committee of the Mutawallis caused by such demolition and order the same to be paid over.

3. Direct the State of Uttar Pradesh to pay a sum of Rs. 25 lakh to the petitioner for defraying expenses for the reconstruction of the said Mosque.

4. Direct the State Government to take appropriate action against Divyanshu Patel, SDM of Ram Sanehi Ghat, Barabanki.

A contempt petition has already been moved before the Allahabad High Court against the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Ram Sanehi Ghat, Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh along with other local authorities in connection with the recent demolition of Gareeb Nawaz Mosque (Barabanki).

In related news, 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.

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.

Next Story