The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Special Leave Petition seeking to quash the Constitution of Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust ("Trust") which was formed by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board ("Board") for construction of mosque over the 5 acres land which was allotted by the State of UP to the Board pursuant to the Ayodhya judgment.
The SLP, which assailed Allahabad High Court's order dated December 24, 2021 ("impugned order") which had refused to grant such relief was listed before the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha.
On February 24, 2020, the Board had passed a resolution for the constitution of a Trust for construction of a mosque, hospital, library, research center, community kitchen and museum, etc. over the land measuring 5 acres.
In the impugned order, the division bench of the High Court while dismissing the PIL as not being maintainable had said, "We are of the opinion that it is the duty of this Court to ensure that there is no personal gain, private motive and oblique notice behind filing of the PIL. In order to preserve the purity and sanctity of the PIL, the Courts must encourage genuine and bonafide PIL and effectively discourage and curb the PIL filed for extraneous considerations. It would also be appropriate for this Court to encourage the genuine PIL and discourage the PIL filed with oblique motives. The Courts should, prima facie, verify the credentials of the petitioner before entertaining a PIL. It is also well settled that the Courts before entertaining the PIL should ensure that the PIL is aimed at redressal of genuine public harm or public injury. The Court should also ensure that there is no personal gain, private motive or oblique motive behind filing the public interest litigation."
Noting that the petitioner had simply stated that he is a public spirited person and has considerable interest in the matters of Muslim Law and Waqfs and had nowhere indicated that what public or social work has been done by him, the High Court further said,
"Thus, this Court has no hesitation to note that the petitioner has not disclosed any credential. Even otherwise, there is nothing on record to indicate that the petitioner has preferred the instant petition espousing the cause of any member of a disadvantageous section of the society or any person, who is downtrodden or for certain disabled person, who is unable to approach the Court or that the matter in question relates to infringement or denial of any basic human right to such marginalized section of the society which enables the petitioner to espouse their cause. The land has been allotted to the Board by the State Government in compliance with the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court and the Board has constituted the Trust for its management. The petitioner cannot compel any authority as to how it will act. It is for the authority to see that the land is managed properly and objective behind its allotment is achieved in its true sense. Thus, we are of the considered opinion that the petitioner has failed to submit before this Court regarding his own credentials and the present petition is misuse and abuse of the process of the Court."
While the matter was called for hearing, Justice DY Chandrachud asked as to what was the petitioner's interest in the Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust which was formed by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board pursuant to the Ayodhya judgment.
"What kind of PIL is this ? Why is he interested in the trust which was formed after the Ayodhya judgment? Who is the petitioner? We would like to hear from you. You're a young counsel."
"You have to tell us why it was maintainable and what is the element of Public Interest that your petitioner is satisfying. Who is your client? Tell us," the judge further said.
Answering the questions posed by the bench, the counsel submitted that she was appearing for the petitioner whose name was Syed Ahmad Faraz and that the petitioner had social political interest.
Referring to the Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952 which require the petitioner to make some disclosure about who he is, the bench further said, "Did your client make some disclosure about who he is? The Supreme Court directed in Siqqidque judgment that 5 acre of land must be granted and thus they have transferred it to the trust and they are constructing. What is your client's interest? Dismissed."
Case Title: Syed Ahmad Faraz Vs. U.P. Sunni Central Board Of Waqf | SLP(C) No. 6973/2022