Friday 12th of July 2024

Delhi High Court Directs Delhi Police To Handover Keys of Markaz Nizamuddin To Maulana Saad

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Rejecting Delhi Police’s stand regarding the continuing restrictions at Tablighi Jamaat headquarter in Nizamuddin since March 2020, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the police to handover the keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad.

In March this year, the court had permitted holding of prayers on five floors of the mosque during the month of Ramzan. In May, the high court permitted the mosque management to allow public entry beyond the month of Ramzan, for the first time since March 2020. The relief was limited to offering of prayers. However, the attached madrasa and hostel continued to remain closed.

Justice Jasmeet Singh on Monday said that the keys would have to be handed over to the person from whom they were taken. “You have taken the possession from some person. You return the possession to that person. I am not adjudicating an FIR for title of property, that is not issue before me,” said the court.

The police argued that the original possessor has not come forward to take control of the property. It submitted that under Delhi Waqf Act, the mutawali has to come forward and not Delhi Waqf Board, which is the petitioner.

However, the court said it is not going to look into the issue of title. Grilling the police, the court said: “Are you in possession? In what capacity have you taken possession? The FIR was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act… that is over now.”

“If you take a property under Epidemic Diseases Act and register an FIR, then whosoever was in possession at that point of time, would have to file suit for possession?” asked the court.

When the police submitted that the possessor of the property will have to come forward, the court asked the Markaz management to go to police. “You will hand over the keys and impose whatever conditions,” the court told the police.

In response to a question, the police submitted that the “possession was taken” from Maulana Saad. However, it claimed he was absconding. The counsel representing the markaz management said Saad is in Nizamuddin only and not absconding and will appear before the police.

After the high court questioned the police, the counsel representing Delhi Police submitted it would not have any objection to handover the property to him on furnishing indemnity bond. The court also said no documents would be required to be submitted for the purpose.

The order was passed in the petition filed by Delhi Waqf Board in 2021 challenging the restrictions imposed on public entry at Masjid Bangley Wali, Madrasa Kashif-ul-Uloom and the attached hostel, in connection with a case registered in 2020 for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines by the markaz management.

The police recently had filed an application in the case urging the high court to direct the Waqf Board and Banglewali Masjid’s management to produce details regarding the ownership of land and building plan approved for construction of the mosque situated at Basti Nizamuddin.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Rohit Meena in the application had also asked the court to direct the Delhi Waqf Board and mosque management to produce the copy of sanction plan in relation to Banglewali Masjid.

The police had argued that neither the Waqf Board nor the mosque management, which is an applicant in the case, have produced any document to prove the that the property in Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin is a waqf property registered under the provisions of Waqf Act and that it has been vested with the management, which is registered as a mutawalli or under any other capacity.

Contending that the Waqf Board cannot maintain a “petition to claim possession” of an “alleged waqf property” which has been legally given to any mutawali for admission and possession, the police had said that only upon termination of mutawali as per provisions of the law, the board can regain any right of direct management.

“It has also not produced the register as contemplated under Section 37 of the Waqf Act, inter-alia, giving the name of the mutawalli or his successor to the said property,” the application stated.

The court today disposed of the petition after the police said it would not have any objection to handover the keys to Maulana Saad.

Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose and advocate Wajeeh Shafiq represented the Delhi Waqf Board. Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi represented the mosque management. Advocate Rajat Nair represented the Delhi Police.

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