UP Court Dismisses Suit To Declare 'Lakshagriha' Disputed Site In Baghpat As A 'Graveyard'/Dargah

Sparsh Upadhyay

11 Feb 2024 3:22 PM GMT

  • UP Court Dismisses Suit To Declare  Lakshagriha Disputed Site In Baghpat As A Graveyard/Dargah

    A Court in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district recently dismissed a 53-year-old suit filed by Muslim plaintiffs seeking a declaration that the 'Lakshagriha-Mazar' dispute site is a graveyard and the dargah (tomb) of Sufi saint Sheikh Badruddin Shah. The dispute concerned more than 108 bighas of land in Barnawa village of Baghpat district which was claimed to be the tomb and graveyard of...

    A Court in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district recently dismissed a 53-year-old suit filed by Muslim plaintiffs seeking a declaration that the 'Lakshagriha-Mazar' dispute site is a graveyard and the dargah (tomb) of Sufi saint Sheikh Badruddin Shah.

    The dispute concerned more than 108 bighas of land in Barnawa village of Baghpat district which was claimed to be the tomb and graveyard of Sufi saint Sheikh Badruddin, whereas, the Hindu defendants claimed that this is Lakshagriha (House of lacquer) of the Mahabharata period which was built by Duryodhan to eliminate the Pandavas.

    Refusing to allow the suit to declare the disputed property as a kabristan/graveyard, the Civil Judge Shivam Dwivedi observed thus:

    β€œthe plaintiff has completely failed to prove the entire disputed gate as a graveyard merely based on presence of some graves at only a few places in Khasra No. 3377, Area 36 Bighe 07 Biswe 08 Biswansi.”

    The suit, which also sought the relief of mandatory and perpetual injunction against the Hindu defendants and a direction to them to remove unauthorised construction at the disputed site, was registered in April 1970 by one Mukim Khan, the caretaker of the dargah, claiming that a group of Hindus/defendants had raised unauthorized construction at the disputed site.

    It was further claimed in the suit that the Sufi saint's tomb was 600 years old and after his death, a graveyard also came up at the disputed site, which was made waqf property by the 'Badshah' of that time.

    Khan alleged that Krishnadutt Ji Maharaj, a priest, came at the disputed site to demolish the site to construct a major Hindu pilgrimage destination there by falsely claiming that there existed a Shiva temple and the site was remnants of the Lakshagriha.

    It was also emphasized that a section of land on the mound had been acquired by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) while the rest of the land was owned by the Shri Gandhi Dham Committee.

    On the other hand, it was the primary case of the Hindu defendants that the property in dispute is a Lakshagriha and it wasn't the place of worship of Muslims and that no tomb of any Muslim saint existed whom people worship.

    Opposing the suit, the Hindu defendants also stressed that the plaintiff was not a mutawalli of any waqf and that he had no right to present the suit and that the plaintiff had tried to give an unfair communal tone to the suit.

    Against the backdrop of the conflicting averments made by the parties, the Court, at the outset, noted that a declaration was issued in 1920 by the then government under Section 3(3) of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, by way of which the mound/Teela had been officially designated as Lakshagriha.

    The Court further noted that the plaintiff had not been able to prove that the site in question was the land of the waqf or a graveyard in the year 1920.

    With this, the Court dismissed the suit by noting that the plaintiff had not been able to prove the averments made in the suit.

    Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


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