The Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board had filed a writ petition in the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court after the demolition of the Gareeb Nawaz Masjid in the Barbanki district of Uttar Pradesh. The plea had been filed by Advocate Syed Aftab Ahmed and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board. It has been moved to the Hon’ble court through advocate Syed Rais. The petition raises prima facie questions regarding the existence of the mosque on the land which is supposed to be used for public utility, the Malefice exercise of power by the Uttar Pradesh state government, the exercise of powers under section 133 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr. P.C, 1973”) and how the whole process has taken place.
The Hon’ble bench consisting of Hon’ble Justices Rajan Roy and Saurabh Lavania has issued a notice on the writ petition. The bench has ordered the defending parties to submit their affidavits within three weeks with adequate substantial arguments. the judges questioned the counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners to throw some light on the nature of the land on which the mosque existed and the exact legal position of the construction. Senior Advocate JN Mathur responded that the records can be found to be dated somewhere in the 1960s and there can be found some record of construction called an “Abadi” but the mention of the word “mosque” cannot be found as yet.
On being further questioned about the exact date of the construction of the mosque, the counsel responded that the Masjid had been constructed a hundred years ago. However, the Hon’ble Judges noted that the counsel was being hostile during argumentation. There has been no official document produced as conclusive support of the claims made by the petitioners. The court wanted to know if the construction dated before the UPZALR Act 1950, citing the Revenue Records of 1356F or after that Revenue Records of 1359F, basic year of Khatauni construction but these questions have not been answered.
The Hon’ble court has taken note of the fact that incidences like these must be dealt with extreme care and caution so that a cause for communal violence or hostility is not given rise to, especially under the current pandemic situation where the third wave is just about to commence. The legality of the construction of the mosque, how the demolition has been carried out, the exercise of powers by the authorities, and the legalities behind the process of demolition will all be investigated with utmost honesty and sincerity, taking due care of the sentiments of all the communities of India. The next date of hearing is scheduled for the 23rd of July.