Tue, 21 Sep 2021

New Delhi [India], September 13 (ANI): Centre has told the Delhi High Court that Delhi Waqf Board does not have any locus on its petition seeking to reopen the Nizamuddin Markaz where the Tablighi Jamaat congregation was taken place in March last year and said it is necessary that the case property shall remain preserved as it has trans-border implication and diplomatic consideration.

Centre in its affidavit told the Court that about 1300 foreigners were found to be residing in the premises and cases against them have cross borders implications and involve nation's diplomatic relations with other countries.

"As such, in view of the seriousness of the case which has trans-border implication and diplomatic consideration, it is just and necessary that the case property in such a case is preserved in letter and spirit so that due process of law in dealing with such cases is followed which also includes the procedure contemplated under Section 310 of the Code of Criminal Procedure," Centre said.

In the affidavit filed through advocate Amit Mahajan and Rajat Nair, the Center government submitted that no case of interference is made out by the petitioner Delhi Waqf Board.

The affidavit filed by the Centre through the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the present petitioner Delhi Waqf Board has no locus to maintain the present petition and as such the present petition is liable to be dismissed on the ground of maintainability only.

Meanwhile, the government also apprised the Court about that the status that a minimum number of persons are already allowed to offer prayer in Masjid Bangley Wali, which number has been time and again, relaxed, as and when important religious festivals is celebrated.

It also said that the respondents have always relaxed the entry norms upon a proper application made by the person administering the religious affair in Masjid Bangley Wali to the concerned SHO.

Vide order dated April 12, 2021 the High Court has already directed the installation of cameras to ensure safety and security of the premises and the persons visiting the same.

Centre submitted that it would be always open for the administrator who is in charge of carrying out the religious affairs in the said Masjid Bangley Wali to submit any plan for securing the condition of interiors of the waqf premises which would be suitably considered and necessary steps for the same would be taken by the authorities in right earnest.

Petitioner Delhi Waqf Board through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, has sought to reassess the necessity of keeping the waqf premises, situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, under their locks.

The petitioner has sought to issue direction to the respondents to consider adopting more advanced and scientific methods, including but not limited to, preparing sketch/digital sketch, photography/videography of the interiors of the said waqf premises, for securing the condition of the interiors of waqf premises, i.e., Municipal nos. 168, 168A, 168B situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin if securing the condition of interiors of the said waqf premises is necessary for the purpose of any investigation or criminal trial.

The petition said that the respondents have put the waqf premises comprised in Municipal nos. 168, 168A and 168B [Masjid Bangley Wali, Madarsa Kashif-Ul-Uloom and the attached hostel] situated as Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi under their locks since March 31 2020. It is submitted that the premises is popularly known as 'Markaz' and has been used for religious purposes.

Central Government vide its guidelines for Phased Reopening, known as 'Guidelines for Unlock 1' dated 30.05.2020 had allowed the religious places outside containment to open from 08.06.2020. However, as per the information of the petitioner from the month of September 2020, the area of Hazrat Nizamuddin is kept outside the list of containment zones. (ANI)

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