Delhi HC asks Railways to produce record on notices issued to mosques for demolition

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | September 12, 2023 IST

delhi high court

New Delhi, Sep 12: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Railways to produce the record regarding the two demolition notices affixed to the walls of Masjid Takia Babbar Shah and Bengali Market Mosque, situated near the Railway Bridge and Babar Road railway line, respectively.

Justice Prateek Jalan was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi Waqf Board challenging the two notices and granted time to the administration to file its response.

"I want to see how the railway administration is issuing notices without mentioning property, date," the judge said, directing that the relevant record be brought to the court.

Counsel for Centre submitted that the notices were issued by railway authorities and that it was done after full knowledge of the persons concerned persons.

"Let me file an affidavit. I checked the record. Notices have been pasted after giving everyone full knowledge," counsel said and sought time for filing counter affidavit.

The judge then granted four weeks’s time and said that the interim order, which was passed on July 26, will continue.

"Respondent is directed to produce the relevant record," the court said.

On July 26, the high court had directed the Railways administration not to take any action based on the notices attached to two mosques demanding the removal of alleged unauthorised structures and encroachment on railway land.

The Board has argued that both mosques are waqf properties, and neither the land underneath them belongs to the Railways, nor are the mosques unauthorised structures.

The court had directed the Centre to seek necessary instructions in respect to the plea and had said that the notices were unsigned, undated, and did not specify the issuing authority.

It had ordered that no action should be taken based on these notices for the time being.

The Board's plea states that other than the impugned notices being generic, unsigned and undated, they were not sent to them directly. From the content of the notices, it appears that the respondents (Railways) are planning to demolish the mosques making the action malicious, arbitrary, and without any valid reason.

The plea further argues that since the notices lack a specific date and signature and were affixed to the mosques instead of being delivered to the Board's office, there is an apprehension that the Railways might proceed with the demolition without any restraint unless directed by this court.

(IANS)

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