You are on page 1of 8

$~40 to 42

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

40+

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, CMs No.16461/2014 (for stay), 18462/2014 (for


appointment of receiver), 18673/2014 (for ex-parte stay) &
18674/2014 (for intervention)
SUHAIL AHMED KHAN
Through:

..... Petitioner
Mr. D.P. Singh, Ms. Sonam Gupta,
Mr. Rajkiran Vats, Mr. R.P. Vyas,
Mr. Salil Bhattacharya and Mr.
Paruesh Khanna, Advs.

Versus
UNION OF INDIA & ORS
Through:

..... Respondents
Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG with Mr.
Sanjeev Narula, Mr. Dev P.
Bhardwaj, Mr. Sunil Dalal and Mr.
Ajay Kalra, Advs. for R-1/UOI.
Mr. Rajiv Nanda, Adv. for R-3&7.
Mr. Waheeh Shafiq and Mohd.
Qaseem, Advs. for Delhi Wakf Board
with Mr. Rana Parveen Siddique,
Member of DWB.
Mr. Laliet Kumar, Adv. for R-5.
Mr. Arjun Pant, Adv. for R-6/DDA.
Mr. R.V. Sinha, Adv. for R-9/CBI.
Dr. Saif Mahmood and Mr. Abhijat,
Advs. for Intervener in CMs
No.18673/2014 & 18674/2014.

AND

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 1 of 8

41+

W.P.(C) 7976/2014 & CM No.18696/2014 (for stay)

AJAY GAUTAM
Through:

..... Petitioner
Mr. Ashish Mohan and Mr. Chetan
Rai Wahi, Advs.

Versus
DELHI WAQF BOARD & ORS
..... Respondents
Through: Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG with Mr.
Sanjeev Narula, Mr. Dev P.
Bhardwaj, Mr. Sunil Dalal and Mr.
Ajay Kalra, Advs. for R-3.
Mr. Anjum Javed and Mr. Devendra
Kumar, Advs. for R-4&5.
Mr. Waheeh Shafiq and Mohd.
Qaseem, Advs. for Delhi Wakf Board
with Mr. Rana Parveen Siddique,
Member of DWB.

AND

42+

W.P.(C) 7990/2014 & CM No.18717/2014 (for stay)


V.K. ANAND

..... Petitioner
Through:

Petitioner-in-person.
Versus

UNION OF INDIA & ORS


Through:

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

..... Respondents
Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG with Mr.
Sanjeev Narula, Mr. Dev P.
Bhardwaj, Mr. Sunil Dalal and Mr.
Ajay Kalra, Advs. for R-1/UOI.

Page 2 of 8

Mr. Kartik Jindal, Adv. for Mr. V.K.


Tandon, Adv. for GNCTD.
Mr. Anjum Javed and Mr. Devendra
Kumar, Advs. for R-3.
Mr. Waheeh Shafiq and Mohd.
Qaseem, Advs. for Delhi Wakf Board
with Mr. Rana Parveen Siddique,
Member of DWB.
CORAM:
HON'BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE RAJIV SAHAI ENDLAW
ORDER
20.11.2014

CM No.18463/2014 in W.P.(C) No.7869/2014 & CM No.18717/2014 in


W.P.(C) No.7990/2014 (both for exemption)
1.

Allowed, subject to all just exceptions.

2.

The applications are disposed of.

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, CMs No.16461/2014 (for stay), 18462/2014 (for


appointment of receiver), 18673/2014 (for ex-parte stay) & 18674/2014
(for intervention), W.P.(C) 7976/2014 & CM No.18696/2014 (for stay)
& W.P.(C) 7990/2014 & CM No.18717/2014 (for stay)
3.

The issues sought to be espoused in these three petitions filed as

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) may be summed up as under:


(i)

The Union of India, Archaeological Survey of India and Govt.

of NCT of Delhi having failed to protect, promote and develop the


Jama Masjid, a monument with historical and archaeological
significance.

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 3 of 8

(ii)

Need for the Jama Masjid to be declared as a protected

monument.
(iii)

Need to take steps for grant of status of World Heritage site to

the Jama Majsid.


(iv) The Delhi Wakf Board having not performed its statutory duties
vis.-a-vis. the Jama Masjid.
(v)

Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari having made the monument of

Jama Masjid his personal estate and having used the platform thereof
for Non-Islamic and for political purposes.
(vi)

The Bukhari family of which Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari is

a member having made the post / office of Imam of the Jama Masjid a
hereditary one and to which they are not entitled.
(vii) The aforesaid Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari having for the last
several years appropriated all earnings from the Jama Masjid
exclusively to himself and also having failed, inspite of Courts
directions, to render accounts thereof.
(viii) The said Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari having used the title of
Shahi Imam to which he is not entitled in law.
(ix)

For preventing use by the Bukhari family of the Jama Masjid as

their residence;
(x)

Need thus for direction to the Delhi Wakf Board to take over

the affairs of the Jama Masjid.


(xi)

For framing of appropriate guidelines for governing the

appointment of Imams.

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 4 of 8

4.

The specific pleadings in the petitions included that Maulana Syed

Ahmed Bukhari, the self proclaimed Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, has
publically announced anointment of his youngest son as the Naib Imam of
the Jama Masjid and that an anointment ceremony (Dastarbandi) in this
regard at the Jama Masjid is scheduled for 22nd November, 2014.
Contending that the same is without authority and illegal, the petitioners
prayed for interim relief for not allowing the said ceremony to take place.
5.

The counsel for the Delhi Wakf Board appearing on advance notice

submitted that though the Jama Masjid is a Wakf property, no Mutawalli has
been appointed with respect thereto. On our further enquiry as to what
rights and control the Delhi Wakf Board has been exercising over the said
Jama Masjid and as to why the Delhi Wakf Board has left the entire
management of the Jama Masjid to Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the
counsel is unable to explain except stating that though Maulana Syed Ahmed
Bukhari was anointed as the Imam of the Jama Masjid in the year 2000, the
Delhi Wakf Board ratified his appointment only in the year 2006. No reply
was forthcoming even for our query as to in exercise of what power Maulana
Syed Ahmed Bukhari was appointed as the Imam of the Jama Masjid.
6.

We may notice that the Wakf Act, 1995 provides only for the

appointment of a Mutawalli of a Wakf and contains no provision for


appointment of Imams of Wakf properties, even if a masjid.
7.

So far as the ceremony scheduled on 22nd November, 2014 for

anointment of the youngest son of Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari as Naib


Imam is concerned, while stating that Waqf Board has not given any

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 5 of 8

permission, it is further added by the counsel for the Delhi Waqf Board that
the appointment announced is without any sanctity unless ratified by the
Delhi Wakf Board and for which no application has been received so far.
8.

At this stage Ms. Rana Parveen Siddique an Advocate of this Court

present in Court has interjected and informed that she is the member of the
Delhi Wakf Board and confirms that the announcement by Maulana Syed
Ahmed Bukhari of anointment of his youngest son as Naib Imam is not
valid. She further informs that the prayers in a masjid are to be led by an
Imam.
9.

However no answer is still forthcoming as to why the Delhi Wakf

Board has not exercised any rights or supervision over the Jama Masjid or as
to why the Delhi Wakf Board has allowed Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari to
appropriate all earnings from the said masjid and also not taken any action
for accounts thereof being not rendered inspite of Court direction.
10.

We further record that the counsels for the petitioners controvert

appointment of Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari even as the Mutawalli and


contend that the Wakf Board has declared itself to be the Mutawalli of Jama
Masjid.
11.

The matter requires consideration.

12.

Issue notice.

13.

For the sake of convenience W.P.(C) No.7869/2014 is to be treated as

the lead petition and the pleadings be completed therein only. The other two
petitions be simply tagged to W.P.(C) No.7869/2014.

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 6 of 8

14.

The counsels for the respondent Union of India, Archaeological

Survey of India, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Delhi


Wafk Board, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Development
Authority, Delhi Police and Central Bureau of Investigation appearing on
advance notice accept notice. Issue notice to Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari
by all modes including dasti, returnable on 28.01.2015.
15.

We are of the opinion that in the face of the contentions of the

petitioners that Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari has no right in law or


otherwise to anoint his son as the Naib Imam and which is supported by the
Delhi Wakf Board, the anointment ceremony (Dastarbandi) scheduled on
22nd November, 2014 even if not stayed would not amount to anointment /
appointment of the said son of Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari as the Naib
Imam of the Jama Masjid. We therefore do not feel any need to pass any ad
interim order restraining the same.
16.

The counsels for the petitioners have further contended that the

ceremony be not allowed to be held at the Jama Masjid, a public place.


17.

In view of the admitted position of Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari and

his family for the last several years having used Jama Masjid as their
residence, we at this stage do not feel any need for any such ad interim order
also.
18.

However, we clarify that the ceremony so held and the anointment /

appointment made therein of the youngest son of Maulana Syed Ahmed


Bukhari or any other person as the Naib Imam of the Jama Masjid shall be

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 7 of 8

subject to further orders in this petition and shall not vest/create any rights or
special equities in favour of any person.
19.

Re-notify on 28.01.2015. In the meanwhile, counters if any be filed.


Copy of this order be given dasti under the signature of the Court

Master.

CHIEF JUSTICE

RAJIV SAHAI ENDLAW, J.


NOVEMBER 20, 2014
bs/pp

W.P.(C) 7869/2014, 976/2014 & 7990/2014

Page 8 of 8