'Graveyard land a Waqf property, possession handed over even before Tribunal's decision in Bhopal'
BHOPAL: A probe has been sought into the manner in which graveyard land was handed over to another party though the title issue was not even disposed by the Waqf Tribunal.
"The possession of the property was given to Raj Dev (Trust) but it was unlawful as a property that has once been registered under Waqf can't be sold or purchased", says the memorandum seeking an inquiry.
"The Kale Pir Qabristan located near Sindhi Colony, Kabadkhana, is a grave yard. This is a waqf land that can't be sold or bought. However, it was handed over to Raj Dev. This is a deal that is void because it's a waqf property", says the memorandum by prominent citizens including several lawyers.
"As there can't be any sale or purchase of such a land, the deal regarding 'sale' of grave yard land is against law and hence null. Neither MP High Court, any competent court or Waqf Tribunal have given a decision regarding title of the land in favour of Raj Dev. But section 144 was imposed in three police station areas and the entire area turned into fortress, hundreds of policemen posted and the land possession given to a party, which is condemnable", it further adds.
The Governor has been requested to seek clarification from the MP government, as how and under what rule the action was taken without title disposal. "The police stated that it acted in accordance with law, however, no competent court gave such a decision and the title case is pending with Waqf tribunal".
"Just to provide benefit to a party, sense of fear was instilled and land was handed over", it says. The memorandum also mentions that the revision petition too was pending in the High Court. The memorandum mentions that after the death of Md Ismail, SDO didn't take it on record and despite knowing that it was pending in tribunal and also in HC, stopped action under section 146.
"On false pretext, land possession was given through fear and favour, illegally to benefit one party, ignoring all the provisions. Hence, action is sought in the entire case so that until a competent court decides the issue of title (ownership), any new construction on the land is halted and the possession is given back to the receiver. We hope that lawful action would be taken".
It was on January 17, 2021 when curfew was imposed in three police stations of Bhopal, apart from prohibitory orders in 11 police station areas. Subsequently, the land pread over 37,368 sqft at Bagh Kunjilal near New Kabadkhana was handed over and after taking over possession, the fence was put up in police presence.
Those who submitted the memorandum, demanding a probe, include Syed Sajid Ali, Shahnawaz Khan, SM Salman, Md Mahir, Md Ameen, Faizan Husain, Md Ashfaq Khan, Jamil Ahmad and Anas Nadvi. The Keshav Needam issue remained in headlines for days. Meanwhile, RSS leaders told media that the land was not owned by Sangh, but it belonged to Raj Dev (trust), though the trust has its volunteers.
RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING WAQF LAND
Waqf property can only be regulated through Waqf provisions. Under section 7 of Waqf Act the Waqf tribunal has the right to decide and under section 8, the civil courts are barred from taking decisions in this regard. This has been ratified by SC in Syed Ali Vs Andhra Pradesh Waqf Board AIR 1998 SC 972.
Under Section 32, Waqf Board is responsible for control, management, regulation and security of the property. And, under sections 51 and 104 (A), any transfer of the property of Waqf would be null and void ab initio. Under section 52 (A), there is clear provision that any such act would lead to imprisonment. Until the case has been disposed of from Waqf tribunal or high court, the status quo would remain.