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High Court Extends Time Given To Delhi Govt For Filing Response Regarding Functioning Of Waqf Board, Release Of Its Grant In Aid

Nupur Thapliyal
10 May 2022 4:09 AM GMT
High Court Extends Time Given To Delhi Govt For Filing Response Regarding Functioning Of Waqf Board, Release Of Its Grant In Aid

The Delhi High Court has extended the time given to Delhi Government for filing a status report regarding the functioning of the Delhi Wakf Board and release of its grant-in-aid.

The development came after Justice Pratibha M Singh had in February granted time till April 27 for filing of the status report in the matter after noting that the Delhi Wakf Board was facing various constraints in it's functioning.

While the matter was listed for compliance, the Court was apprised by the Delhi Government that there was a change in the panel counsel, and hence, some more time was sought to file the status report.

"Accordingly, let the said status report be filed before the next date of hearing," the Court said while listing the matter for further hearing on August 3.

The two factors on which the Court had sought the status report are as under:

- No no fully functioning CEO for the Wakf Board. Though, an officer was appointed as the CEO, he has now been transferred to another area, and the new CEO is yet to be notified.

- The grant-in-aid for the Wakf Board has not been released by the GNCTD, and there is acute shortage of funds.

The Court was dealing with a Review Application seeking review of the order dated 15th December, 2021, passed by the High Court. In the original proceeding, the petitioners had challenged the orders dated 4th October, 2019 passed by the Waqf Tribunal which had dismissed their applications under Order XXXIX Rules 1&2 CPC.

In the review application, the case of the Review Applicant was that the order dated 15th December, 2021, deserved to be reviewed as the same was been passed without hearing the Review Applicant and that he would be directly affected by the order passed by the High Court on 15th December, 2021.

The Applicant had also relied upon Waqf Notification to argue that the Wakf Board could not claim any right in respect of the subject property, as the notification only showed another property to be Waqf property.

The Court however was of the view that the Review Applicant was guilty of making false statements before the Court and did not deserve any indulgence.

"Accordingly, in view of the above facts and circumstances, this review application is completely devoid of any merit and is dismissed, with costs of Rs.50,000/- to be deposited by the Review Applicant with the Wakf Board, within four weeks. Despite the misrepresentation by the Review Applicant, this Court has refrained from taking action against the Review Applicant as costs have been imposed on him," the Court had ordered.

However, the Court had also noted that during the course of proceedings in the matter and also a large number of other similar matters, the Court had seen that repeatedly in respect of public land, the Sub-Registrars were blindly registering the sale deeds without any consideration as to whether the registration can be effected in respect of such properties at all or not.

"This results in prolonged litigation and properties while being occupied by unauthorised occupants continue to be entangled, leading to delay in the Wakf Board and public bodies, being unable to obtain the possession of the properties concerned. Even in the present case, despite the order dated 15th December, 2021, the SDM, Mehrauli does not appear to have taken any steps to evict the unauthorized occupants of the suit property," the Court had noted.

Accordingly, the Court had asked Naushad Ahmed Khan, ASC for the Delhi Government to obtain instructions from the SDM, Mehrauli, as to the steps taken by it for evicting the unauthorized occupants and also to file a compliance report within a period of four weeks.

At the outset, the ASC also apprised the Court that the functioning of the Wakf Board was not fully satisfactory.


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