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Remove All Encroachment Including Mosque, Mazar In Chandrashekhar Azad Park Within 3 Days: Allahabad HC To UP Govt

Sparsh Upadhyay
6 Oct 2021 9:05 AM GMT
Remove All Encroachment Including Mosque, Mazar In Chandrashekhar Azad Park Within 3 Days: Allahabad HC To UP Govt
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The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to remove, within three days, all the encroachments including Graves, Mazaars or Mosque constructed or created within the area of Alfred Park popularly known as Amar Shaheed Chandrasekhar Aazad Park (in Prayagraj).The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Piyush Agarwal referred to Apex...

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The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Uttar Pradesh Government to remove, within three days, all the encroachments including Graves, Mazaars or Mosque constructed or created within the area of Alfred Park popularly known as Amar Shaheed Chandrasekhar Aazad Park (in Prayagraj).

The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Piyush Agarwal referred to Apex Court's ruling in Allahabad Ladies Club Versus Jitendra Nath Singh and others (2007) 11 SCC 609, to direct the authorities that all illegal encroachments in the park that came up after 1975 should be demolished within two days.

Additionally, the Court directed thus on a plea that filed to save the park in consonance to the provisions of Sections 6 and 7 of the Uttar Pradesh Parks, Playgrounds, and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act, 1975.

The Court has also called for a report from the government authorities, after removing all the encroachments in view of the judgment and directions of the Apex Court in the case of Allahabad Ladies Club (supra), and listed the matter for October 8.

In the case of Allahabad Ladies Club (supra), the apex court had taken into account various provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Parks, Playgrounds and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act, 1975 to rule thus:

"...no park, playground or space shall except with the previous sanction of the prescribed authority be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was used on the date immediately preceding the date of commencement of the Act."

This clearly meant that if on the date of commencement of the Act a park, playground, or open space was being used for a particular purpose, the same can be continued, however, no further 'illegal' encroachment could be allowed to continue as per Sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Act.

Finding that there had been a failure of the Authorities to carry out the directions of the High Court [in Arun Kumar Vs. Nagar Mahapalika, Allahabad and others 1987 SCC OnLine All 379] so as the Apex Court, the Court directed the authorities to clear the encroachments and submit a report on October 8.

Background 

Importantly, the plea moved by one Jitendra Singh Vishen And Another alleging that for the last few years, the members of the Muslim community in their usual manner of capturing the land for their religious purposes are trying to construct a mosque within the parking area and some artificial Mazars (graveyards) have been created at the instance of fundamentalists and the patronage of the Waqf Board.

The plea states:

"…some members of the Muslims community are creating artificial graves to convert the park land into graveyard and they are also trying to convert a building into a mosque within the area of Azad Park…It is astonishing that in this historical park few persons had created artificial graves and were naming a building as Mosque."

Further averments in the plea

It has been contended in the plea that the Government or the Waqf Board have never issued any public notice for registering any portion of the parkland as Waqf property. Alleging that the building illegally raised is being tried to be converted into a mosque, the plea submits:

"No part of the park has ever been used as Waqf property either for the purposes of burying the dead, dargaah or mazar and no mosque was ever constructed or had been in existence in any manner. Even today no mosque is in existence."

Further, it has been averred that the Waqf Board without issuing any notice and giving any opportunity of hearing to members of the public and the affected persons in a celandine manner declared an area of the parkland as Waqf property and that it does not confer any right or title on any person/s in pursuance of such illegal registration.

The plea submits that the Uttar Pradesh Government is bound to maintain Azad Park in accordance with the provisions contained in 'The Uttar Pradesh parks, Playgrounds and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act 1975'.

Further, the plea has stated that in Arun Kumar Versus Nagar Mahapalika [Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.19296 of 1986], the Allahabad HC had issued strict orders to protect, preserve, maintain and develop the historical Azad Park.

Case title - Jitendra Singh Vishen And Another v. State Of U.P. And 9 Others

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