Delhi Police Urges High Court to Direct Waqf Board to Furnish Ownership Documents for Banglewali Masjid [Nizamuddin Market]


Akansha Upadhyay

Published on: 16 November 2022 at 09:55 IST

The Delhi Police has filed an application before the High Court, contesting the continuing restrictions on public entry at Markaz Nizamuddin. The police in its plea urges court to direct the Waqf Board and Banglewali Masjid’s committee to furnish the regarding the ownership of the land and the approved building plan for construction of the mosque situated at Basti Nizamuddin.

It is the case registered in 2020 for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines by the markaz management. Notably, the application states in a petition filed in 2021 by the Delhi Waqf Board, challenging the restrictions imposed on public entry to Masjid Chudi Wali Wali, Madrassa Kashif-ul-Uloom and the attached hostel.

In its plea, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Rohit Meena pleaded before the court to direct the Delhi Waqf Board and mosque management to produce the copy of the sanction plan in relation to Banglewali Masjid.

The police have further asked the court to direct any notices issued by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on any violation in the building plan or any illegal construction at Banglewali Masjid. It also wants the court to ascertain whether any action has been taken in relation to the notices.

One of the prayers in the application also is that a report be sought whether Markaz Building is safe and secure in terms of its construction and other required safety terms.

While the madrasa and the hostel have continued to remain closed since the premises were kept “under lock and key” by the police in March 2020, the public has been allowed to offer prayers at the mosque in pursuance of the orders passed by the high court.

In March of this year, the court permitted the 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.

Justice Jasmeet Singh had questioned the police’s argument for not permitting the prayers on all floors.

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

It was submitted that the Waqf Board cannot maintain a “petition to claim possession” of “alleged waqf property” that has been legally given to any mutawali for admission and possession; the police have said that only upon termination of mutawali as per provisions of the law, the board 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 says.

The police have further said they have sought documents from the Delhi Waqf Board to ascertain who is the “rightful possessor” of the Masjid Banglewali, but no response has been received to date. Accordingly, the police have said that they have made requests for the production of the documents.

The case is now listed on November 28.

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