Barabanki Mosque Demolition: Allahabad HC Issues Notice in Pleas Against State’s Action

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The Barabanki mosque that was demolished on May 17, 2021. — Md Asif Khan‏‎‎‎‎‎‎/Twitter

UP Waqf Board and Muslim Personal Law Board seek restoration of the mosque

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI — The Allahabad High Court has issued notice in the petition over the demolition of Gareeb Nawaz Mosque filed by the state Sunni Waqf Board.

According to legal news website Live Law, the bench of Justices Saurabh Lavania and Rajan Roy said the petition prima facie raises important questions over the existence of the mosque on a public utility land.

It also noted that the petitions raise questions over the use of power by state authorities under Section 133 Cr PC and other provisions, the allegations of mala fide exercise of power and the manner in which it was done.

The respondents have been asked to file a reply affidavit within three weeks with the next date of hearing on July 23.

The bench asked advocate J N Mathur representing Sunni Waqf Board to explain the category and ownership of the land, on which the mosque exists.

Mathur told the court that as per 1960s revenue records, the land is mentioned as Abadi (population) though the mosque is also mentioned there.

When asked how the mosque was constructed on Abadi land, Mathur said that it was constructed over 100 years ago.

The bench, however, said that the counsel has been unable to provide documentary proof to back his claim of the history of the mosque.

The mosque was demolished earlier this month by the administration in Barabanki, saying that it was an “illegal structure”. The act sparked massive outrage among Muslims. The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and All India Muslim Personal Law Board moved the High Court seeking reconstruction and restoration of the mosque. The petition called the action of the government as “blatantly depraved and malicious manner out of complete animosity and ill will in an extremely hurried manner”.

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