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Delhi High Court Seeks Response Of Centre, Central Waqf Council On Plea Challenging Constitutionality Of Waqf Act

Nupur Thapliyal
12 May 2022 12:42 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Seeks Response Of Centre, Central Waqf Council On Plea Challenging Constitutionality Of Waqf Act

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response of the Centre and the Central Waqf Council on a plea challenging the vires of Waqf Act, 1995 as being violative of Articles 12, 13, 14, 15, 21, 25, 26 & 300A of the Constitution.

A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice on the plea while granting four weeks time to the respondents for filing their replies in the matter.

The matter will now be heard along with a similar plea seeking uniform law for Trust and Trustees, Charities and Charitable Institutions and Religious Endowments and Institutions, thereby challenging the vires of the Waqf Act, 1995.

Filed by one Devendra Nath Tripathi, the plea challenges the validity of sec. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 16(a) of the Waqf Act, 1995, by claiming that the said provisions grant special status to Waqf properties denying equal status to other Non-Muslims and therefore confer unbridled powers to Waqf Boards through Tribunals constituted under the Act.

It further avers that the Central Government and the State Governments have already undertaken several welfare and developmental activities for the socially and economically backward class of people including the minorities communities and for the same reasons there is no State duty involved in managing and supervising Waqf properties for the Minority Citizens of India at the public expense.

"After the concept of State under article 12, the welfare activities are the duties of the State and there is no scope for the State to be involved with the personal properties of the Muslim Community. Such legislations may be allowed to continue till Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is legislated, subject to no-state-control in Waqfmatters. Even otherwise the Waqf Act has not been able to salvage the socio-economic conditions of the overwhelming majority of the Muslims in our country, who are anyways, sunk into deep poverty," the plea reads.

The plea adds that the Muslim personal laws cannot override the Constitutional values and basic structure and basic features of Secularism, Equality and that it is only by the use of UCC that the values of fraternity can be achieved.

"The purpose and object of the Waqf Act is for the religious- minded and pious people, with a view to spiritual advancement, set apart some portion of their property for the purpose of its being utilised for the benefit of mankind. The idea in creating an Act for private property must apply on all the Citizens of India including Non-Muslims, for example the Uniform Civil Code," the plea adds.

Therefore, apart from challenging the validity of the Waqf Act, the plea also seeks a declaration that only a Uniform Civil Code can govern the private properties of Citizens under the Constitution.


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