Delhi Police seeks ownership details of Banglewali masjid from Waqf board, moves HC

The city police has moved the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the Delhi Waqf Board and Banglewali Masjid’s management to produce documents showing ownership details and the approved building plan pertaining to the construction of the mosque situated at the Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin.

In the application, the Delhi Police has sought a direction to the board to produce details of mutation/ownership. The application, filed by DCP (Crime) Rohit Meena, has sought that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi be also directed to produce the plans sanctioned for the mosque.

The police has also asked the board to show if the MCD has issued notice on any violation in the building plan of the mosque; whether any action has been initiated in this regard; and if the Markaz building is structurally stable and other safety norms.

The matter was listed Tuesday before a single judge bench of Justice Jasmeet Singh, but was adjourned, and is next listed on November 28.

The Delhi Waqf Board has claimed possession of the Masjid Banglewali, in its capacity of the custodian of auqafs/waqf properties, police stated.

In another plea, one Maulana Mohd Yusaf has claimed “reversion of possession of Masjid Banglewali”, on the ground that he is a member of the managing committee of the mosque, which is the “rightful owner and possessor of the said property”.

The police said neither the Waqf Board nor Yusaf has submitted any of the aforementioned documents.

The Delhi Police has sought proof that the property is a Waqf property registered under the provisions of the Waqf Act, 1995; proof that it has been vested with Yusaf, who is registered as a mutawalli or under any other capacity as per the provisions of the Act to lay claim on its possession. It has further sought proof that the “property has been reverted to the Waqf Board so as to give locus to the petition to claim possession,” the application stated.

The Waqf Board, in its plea filed in February 2021, had submitted that Masjid Banglewali, Madarsa Kashif-ul-Uloom, and the attached hostel situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin have been locked since March 2020. The Centre has told the court the premises have been kept “under lock and key” in view of the fact that the Markaz management is itself under investigation in the case registered in 2020 by the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch in connection with violation of Covid guidelines. The application filed by the police stated that the Waqf Board cannot maintain a claim for possession of an “alleged Waqf property”, which has been legally given to any “mutawalli for administration and possession”.

The police has argued that only upon the termination of mutawalli, as per provisions of the Act, the Waqf Board can regain any right of direct management of any property. They have said that to date, neither the board nor Yusuf has replied to letters written by the police seeking these details to ascertain who is the “rightful possessor” of the mosque nor have they placed the requisite documents before the HC.

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